New Jersey ranked 7th of the 10 states with populations of at least 1 million Latinos as noted in the Pew Research Center’s 2014 list. New Jersey’s ranking of 1.7 million Latino residents fell just below Arizona at 2.1 million and above Colorado at 1.1 million. 19% of New Jersey’s population is Latino. Otherwise stated, 1 in 5 New Jersey residents is Latino. Middlesex County’s Latino demographic mirrors that of the state at 20% of residents identifying as Latino, or 166,251 individuals. The US Census information indicates Middlesex County’s Latino population is comprised of 19.8% Mexican, 29.3% Puerto Rican, 3.9% Cuban and 47.2% other Latino or Hispanic.
New Jersey again ranks fourth in the total number of South Asian residents falling below California, New York and Texas and above Illinois, Washington, Hawaii and Florida, and second in Indian subcontinental origins. Middlesex County’s Asian population is at 173,293 representing 21.4% comprised of individuals identifying themselves as South Asian 12.9%, Chinese at 3.5%, Filipino at 1.9%, Japanese at .1%, Korean at .9%, Vietnamese at .4% and other Asian at 1.7%.
In recognition of the shift in Middlesex County’s demographic profile, United Way commissioned the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University to identify the contributions and unmet needs of immigrants. This report “Crossroads of the World- New Americans in Middlesex County, New Jersey”, 2011, serves as the baseline for our immigrant oriented initiatives. UWCJ also established the Immigrant Integration Committee, responsible for developing and implementing initiatives in response to the study findings which include::
- Producing a Resource Handbook containing information about social services available within the County, in English and Spanish
- Conducting annual Citizenship Days during which volunteer attorneys specializing in immigration issues assist with the citizenship application process
- Conducting symposia for the social service provider community on challenges experienced by the immigrant community
- Providing free health screenings in areas with high concentration of immigrants including New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and South Amboy
- Providing free income tax preparation service including preparing ITIN applications (individual Tax Identification Numbers) for immigrants enabling them to qualify for refunds for which they are eligible
- Targeting the immigrant community with our evidence-based programs: Nurse Family Partnership, ParentChild+and Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors
- Outreach to communities with high concentrations of immigrants with information about enrolling in medical insurance programs for which their families may be eligible
- Creation and distribution of “Know Your Rights” information packets providing immigrants with important information in order to appropriately plan for emergencies
For more information about this program or to become a sponsor please call 732-247-3727.