On Thursday, June 13, residents gathered at the Curtis Hall Community Center for a presentation about the status of Dominicans in Boston.
The Spanish-language presentation hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development was based on research by the Boston Planning and Development Agency.
Presenters provided an informative flier with a snapshot about Dominicans in Boston. According to this document, Dominicans make up 6 percent of the total population of Boston, coming in at 38 thousand. They hold 16,000 jobs in the city, and own 1,300 businesses. Dominicans earn $403 million annually and contribute $21 million in state income taxes.
The handout also showed a chart comparing U.S.-born Dominicans to those born in the DR, with those born in the U.S. coming out on top.
According to the chart, U.S.-born Dominicans are more proficient in English, are more highly educated, and earn about $3,000 per year more in median earnings for full-time jobs. However, more foreign-born Dominicans own their own homes than U.S.-born Dominicans, and more of them are employed full-time.
In terms of population growth, the number of U.S.-born Dominicans has almost doubled over the past twenty years while the number of foreign-born Dominicans has increased by 74 percent.
A map on the handout showed that Mattapan has the highest percentage of Dominicans in the city of Boston, and not Jamaica Plain as many had assumed.
These statistics were largely gathered from information from the U.S. Census Bureau, which drives home the importance of participating in the census. There is currently no question on the census regarding citizenship but the Trump administration is trying to change that in 2020.
Community leaders were given the chance to respond to the statistics and members of the community had the chance to ask questions regarding policy planning and initiatives.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development features an Economic Development Center that offers free workshops throughout the City in order to increase access and opportunities. The June 13 meeting was part of their Community Economic Impact Series—presentations held around the city showing how different ethnic groups are participating in Boston’s economy.
The goal of the series, according to its website, is “is to engage residents, to hear their reactions to the data presented, and encourage suggestions on the city’s economic development policies and priorities.” Other populations in the series include Cape Verdeans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Brazilians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Irish and Jamaicans. All meetings offer food, interpretation services, networking opportunities and a child-friendly environment.
On June 26, the series featured Puerto Ricans in Boston at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury.