Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Central Americans in the United States
While Mexico has long been the principal source nation of Latin American immigrants to the United States, from the late 1970s onward, Central Americans also began to settle in the United States in substantial numbers. From 1980 to 2000, over 1 million Central Americans from seven nations—Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—entered the United States as legal immigrants. Central Americans made up approximately 5% of the Hispanic population in the United States in 2000, with the greatest number of immigrants coming from El Salvador and Guatemala (see Table 1 ). Important communities of Central Americans have been established in Los Angeles (Salvadorans and Guatemalans); Washington, D.C. (Salvadorans); Miami (Nicaraguans); New Orleans (Hondurans); and New York (Panamanians). As Central Americans have come to play an increasingly important and visible role in U.S. society, scholars have identified unique features that distinguish this population from other Hispanic groups. These ...