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Mexicans in Chicago

There is a Mexican American population in the Chicago metropolitan area.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Geography 3
  • Institutions 4
  • Politics 5
  • Notable residents 6
  • Further reading 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The first Mexicans who came to Chicago, mostly entertainers and itinerants, came before the turn of the 20th Century.[1] In the mid to late 1910s Chicago had its first significant wave of Mexican immigrants. Originally the immigrants were mostly men working in semiskilled and unskilled jobs who originated from Texas and from Guanajuato, Jalisco, and Michoacán. In the 1920s migration increased.[2]


From the 1990 U.S. Census to the 2000 U.S. Census, the percentage of Mexican Americans in all of Cook County, Illinois increased by 69%, and the percentage of Mexicans in the City of Chicago in particular increased by 50% in the same time period. As a result, Chicago's number of Mexicans surpassed the number in the cities of Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

As of the 2000 U.S. Census there were 786,000 residents of full or partial Mexican origin in Cook County, giving it the largest ethnic Mexican population in the United States that is not in the Southwest and the third largest ethnic Mexican population of any county after Los Angeles County, California and Harris County, Texas. As of that year the number of ethnic Mexicans in Cook County is greater than that of each of the metropolitan areas of Acapulco, Cuernavaca, Chihuahua, and Veracruz.[3] The total includes over 530,000 residents of the City of Chicago.[3]

As of the 2010 Census, 961,963 residents of Cook County, including 578,100 residents of the City of Chicago, had full or partial Mexican origins.[4] If one were to measure only Mexican born immigrants, Chicago (with 677,000) is second only to Los Angeles (with 1,751,000) on the list of U.S. cities with the largest Mexican-born populations (measured in 2012).[5]


Mexican neighborhoods include Pilsen in the Lower West Side and Little Village in South Lawndale.


The National Museum of Mexican Art is located in Pilsen.


As of 2001, despite being the largest Hispanic and Latino ethnic group in Chicago, the Mexicans have less political representation than Chicago's Puerto Ricans.[6]

Notable residents

Further reading

  • Andrade, Juan, Jr. "A Historical Survey of Mexican Immigration to the U.S. and an Oral History of the Mexican Settlement in Chicago, 1920–1990" (Ph.D. diss.). Northern Illinois University, 1998.
  • Arredondo, Gabriela F. "‘What! The Mexicans, Americans?’ Race and Ethnicity, Mexicans in Chicago, 1916–1939" (Ph.D. diss.). University of Chicago, 1999.
  • Davalos, KarenMary. "Ethnic Identity among Mexican and Mexican American Women in Chicago, 1920–1991" (Ph.D. diss.). Yale University, 1993.


  1. ^ Kerr, Louise A. N. "The Mexicans in Chicago" (Archive). Northern Illinois University. Retrieved on April 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Arredondo, Gabriela F. and Derek Vaillant. "Mexicans" (Archive). Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved on April 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Atlantic City Lab: "Why Chicago Is Still the No. 2 U.S. City for Mexican Immigrants - A closer look at the history of Mexican migration patterns reveals that it's actually a natural choice" by Tanvi Misra October 9, 2014
  6. ^

External links

  • "Historian Studies Impact of Mexican Immigrants in Chicago" (Archive). University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters.
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