OLLAS report looks at Nebraska's Mexican-origin population

Sep 30, 2014

A new report says two-thirds of Nebraska’s Mexican-origin population was born in the United States.

UNO’s Office of Latino and Latin American Studies or OLLAS did the report on Nebraska’s Mexican immigrant population. Researchers used more than a century of Census data for the report. It found that Nebraska’s Mexican-origin population grew because of two waves of immigration. One was in the early 1900s, the second between 1990 and 2000.

Lissette Aliaga-Linares, a demographer for OLLAS and author of the report, says the socioeconomic and educational outcome for this demographic has improved.

"As you can expect, as this group of immigrants has become part of the state make-up, they have also improved their level of education. So a lot of improvement in terms of the educational attainment in the Mexican-origin population come from this new generation that are getting an education beyond high school."

Aliaga-Linares says more Nebraskans of Mexican origin are buying homes, an indication they’re settling and having families in the U.S. But she says this group also faces challenges. They’re twice as likely to be unemployed, and there’s been an increase in the number of households headed by women without a spouse or partner present. Aliaga-Linares says that could be due to deportation.

The Mexican-origin population in Nebraska is 141,913, according to the report.