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Paraguayan Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paraguayan Americans
Total population
25,022 (2018)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New York CityMiami-Dade CountyWashington, D.C.
American English · Spanish · Guarani
Roman Catholicism

Paraguayan Americans (Spanish: paraguayo-americano, norteamericano de origen paraguayo or estadounidense de origen paraguayo) are Americans of Paraguayan descent.

The Paraguayan population in the United States at the 2010 Census was 24,933 . Paraguayans are the smallest Hispanic group in the United States. The Paraguayan population is concentrated mainly in Queens, NY, Westchester County, NY, and Somerset County, NJ. Additional areas of concentration include Miami-Dade County and Montgomery County, Maryland. The highest concentration of Paraguayans in the US reside in Somerset County, NJ.[2]


The first Paraguayans arrived between the years of 1841 and 1850. At that time, Paraguayans were not coming directly to the United States from Paraguay, but through other countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. The Paraguayan residents in the U.S. were included in the early records in the group of "other" South Americans. During those years, 3,579 "other" immigrants arrived. 24,933 In the 1960s, one-fourth of all Paraguayans were registered as living in countries outside Paraguay, with a majority in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. In 1979, close to 11,000 Paraguayans immigrated to the United States, but the numbers declined rapidly. In 1982, 4,000 Paraguayans immigrated to the United States. The reasons of migration were varied, but many immigrants were young people that wanted educational opportunities to get professional knowledge, skills, and to have better jobs.[3]

Additionally, some of the immigrants arrived for political reasons or to escape civil riots. The women exceeded in number to the male immigrants slightly, and more than half of its immigrants lacked occupation. Many Paraguayan immigrants were also infants adopted by American families. More than a thousand Paraguayan infants were adopted in this country. Of these, 254 were adopted in 1989, 405 in 1993 and 351 in 1995.[3]


Paraguayan American women generally accept jobs in hotel housekeeping. Others have agricultural jobs in California and Kansas. The latter state has partnered with Paraguay in an exchange program through a non-profit volunteer organization called Partners of the Americas. Both Kansas and Paraguay are land-locked, grow cattle and wheat, and are roughly the same size and population. Also a small number of Paraguayan American professionals who immigrated in search of better job and pay.

Of the 80 Paraguayan Americans who became U.S. citizens in 1984, only one arrived that year. In fact, most of these immigrants arrived eight to ten years earlier. Between 1987 and 1996, naturalization figures for Paraguayans in the United States increased slightly. Thus, in 1996, 420 Paraguayans became American citizens.

In 1990, 5,144 Paraguayan Americans spoke Spanish or Guarani (indigenous language of Paraguay), and 2,903 Paraguayan Americans did not speak English very well. They have grown within the Hispanic community in the United States.[3]


In accordance with the 1990 U.S. Census, of 4,132 Paraguayan American adults 25 years old and older, 997 were high school graduates, 700 attended school through 12th grade, although have no diploma, 429 have a bachelor's degree, and 653 have had some college experience. Of the 5,415 Paraguayan Americans in the U.S. population, 1,830 only are enrolled in school.[3]


Sharlene Wells was the first foreign-born, bilingual Miss America.[4]
Sharlene Wells was the first foreign-born, bilingual Miss America.[4]

The large populations of Paraguayan Americans are in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. Paraguayan Americans also have population importance in Dallas and Atlanta. Many unskilled Paraguayan Americans have jobs in the service industry in urban zones such as Minneapolis, Chicago or states like New York and New Jersey.

States and residence areas

The 10 states with the largest population of Paraguayans (Source: 2010 Census):

  1. New York - 5,940
  2. Florida - 2,222
  3. New Jersey - 1,964
  4. California - 1,228
  5. Maryland - 1,161
  6. Virginia - 924
  7. Texas - 763
  8. Pennsylvania - 500
  9. Connecticut - 494
  10. Illinois - 423

The largest population of Paraguayans are situated in the following areas (Source: Census 2010):

  1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA - 7,492
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA - 1,793
  3. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA - 1,531
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA - 509
  5. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA - 375
  6. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA - 358
  7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT MSA - 336
  8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA- 301
  9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA - 267
  10. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA - 264
  11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA - 236
  12. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA - 229
  13. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA MSA - 191
  14. Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA - 158
  15. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA - 144
  16. Richmond, VA MSA - 131
  17. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ MSA - 128
  18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA - 113
  19. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA - 109
  20. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA - 108

US communities with largest population of people of Paraguayan ancestry

The top 25 US communities with the highest populations of Paraguayans (Source: Census 2010)

  1. New York, NY - 3,534
  2. Bernardsville, NJ - 266
  3. White Plains, NY - 260
  4. Harrison, NY - 235
  5. Los Angeles - 180
  6. Washington, DC - 161
  7. Raritan, NJ - 147
  8. Greenburgh, NY - 144
  9. Peapack-Gladstone, NJ - 142
  10. Miami, FL - 131
  11. Mamaroneck (Village), NY - 130
  12. Houston, TX - 119
  13. Somerville, NJ - 114
  14. Arlington, VA - 113
  15. Rye (Town), NY - 102
  16. Chicago, IL and Rockville, MD - 101
  17. Mamaroneck (Town), NY - 88
  18. Miami Beach, FL - 87
  19. Bridgewater Township, NJ - 82
  20. Bedminster Township, NJ - 81
  21. Yonkers, NY - 79
  22. North Bethesda, MD - 78
  23. Aspen Hill, MD - 77
  24. Philadelphia, PA and Dallas, TX - 74
  25. Greenwich, CT and Wheaton, MD - 71

US communities with high percentages of people of Paraguayan ancestry

US communities with the highest percentages of Paraguayans as a percent of total population (Source: Census 2010)

  1. Far Hills, NJ - 5.77%
  2. Peapack-Gladstone, NJ - 5.50%
  3. Bernardsville, NJ - 3.45%
  4. Raritan, NJ - 2.14%
  5. Bedminster Township, NJ - 1.00%

Paraguayans are more than 1% of the entire population in only five communities in the US. All of these communities are located in Somerset County, NJ.

Notable people

  • Benny Ricardo
  • Bryan López
  • Celeste Troche
  • Cindy Taylor
  • Faith Wilding
  • Gerardo Laterza
  • Gustavo Neffa
  • Juan Carlos Campuzano
  • Julia Marino
  • Julieta Granada
  • Rossana de los Ríos
  • Sharlene Wells Hawkes
  • References

    1. ^ "B03001 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN - United States - 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
    2. ^ Olivia Miller, "Paraguayan Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 3, Gale, 2014), pp. 459-466. online
    3. ^ a b c d Paraguayan Americans. Countries and Their Cultures: Paraguayan Americans by Olivia Miller. Retrieved July 21, 2011, to 13:50 pm.
    4. ^ "Miss America: 1985". Miss America. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2014-02-07.

    Further reading

    • Cooney, Jerry W. Paraguay: A Bibliography of Immigration and Emigration (1996).
    • Hanratty, Dennis M., and Sandra Meditz. Paraguay: A County Study (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990).
    • Miller, Olivia. "Paraguayan Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 3, Gale, 2014), pp. 459–466. online
    This page was last edited on 26 July 2020, at 10:41
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