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Basic Facts on Children of Immigrants

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Document date: June 18, 2010
Released online: June 18, 2010

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More than one in five children in the United States has at least one immigrant parent.

  • More than half of children of immigrants are Hispanic.
  • In 1970, one in twenty Americans was of Hispanic origin; in 2010, one in six is.
  • Children of immigrants account for almost the entire growth in the population of children between 1990 and 2008.
  • Children of immigrants have lower rates of preschool enrollment than children of natives, but by ages 5 to 8, they have slightly higher rates of public school enrollment than children of natives.
  • By age 8, half of children of immigrants are bilingual.
  • The vast majority (93 percent) of children of immigrants are U.S. citizens.
  • Children of immigrants are disproportionately poor or low-income—about half live in low-income households vs. 37 percent of children of natives.

Growth in Number of Children of Immigrants and Children of Natives, 1990 to 2008

Growth in Number of Children of Immigrants and Children of Natives, 1990 to 2008

Source: Urban Institute tabulations from the IPUMS datasets drawn from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census of Population and Housing and the 2007 and 2008 American Community Surveys.

  • Use of public benefits is low—children of immigrants are less likely than those of natives to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Children of immigrants are more likely than those of natives to live in two‐parent families—84 vs. 71 percent.

References

Fortuny, Karina, and Ajay Chaudry. 2009. “Children of Immigrants: Immigration Trends.” Fact Sheet No. 1. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Fortuny, Karina, Ajay Chaudry, and Donald J. Hernandez. Forthcoming. “Young Children of Immigrants: The Leading Edge of America’s Future.” Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Fortuny, Karina, Randy Capps, Margaret Simms, and Ajay Chaudry. 2009. “Children of Immigrants: National and State Characteristics.” Perspectives on Low‐Income Working Families brief 9. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Landale, Nancy S., Susan McHale, and Alan Booth, eds. 2010. Growing Up Hispanic: Health and Development of Children of Immigrants. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.

Children of Immigrants by Parents’ Origin, 2007–2008

Children of Immigrants by Parents? Origin,  2007?2008

Source: Urban Institute tabulations from the IPUMS datasets drawn from the 2007 and 2008 American Community Surveys.

(See charts and references in the full report available in PDF format.)



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Immigrants


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