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Children of Immigrants Drive the Increase in America's Youth Population, but Almost Half Live in Low-Income Families

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Document date: September 16, 2010
Released online: September 16, 2010

Abstract

Updated with 2007 and 2008 American Community Survey data, the Children of Immigrants Data Tool can generate customized graphs and charts for every state and the District of Columbia. Statistics on 26 indicators include citizenship and the immigrant status (foreign vs. native-born) of children and their parents; children's race, ethnicity, and school enrollment; parents' education and English proficiency; and family composition, income, work effort, homeownership, and food stamp receipt.


Contact: Simona Combi, (202) 261-5709, scombi@urban.org

Washington, D.C., September 16, 2010 -- In 2008, 16.5 million children 17 years old or younger had at least one immigrant parent, the Urban Institute’s Children of Immigrants Data Tool shows. That’s a 5 percent increase from 2006’s 15.7 million children and a twofold increase from 1990’s 8.3 million young people.

Updated with 2007 and 2008 American Community Survey data, the interactive web site can generate customized graphs and charts for every state and the District of Columbia. Statistics on 26 indicators include citizenship and the immigrant status (foreign vs. native-born) of children and their parents; children’s race, ethnicity, and school enrollment; parents’ education and English proficiency; and family composition, income, work effort, homeownership, and food stamp receipt.

Each customized chart can present either the number or share of children with a specific characteristic in the states chosen or nationally. A data table, displayed below each chart, can be downloaded in Excel or as a PDF.

Among noteworthy trends:

  • Between 1990 and 2008, the number of children with at least one immigrant parent grew by 8.2 million, accounting for 78 percent of the increase in children nationally.
  • Between 1990 and 2008, the number of children of immigrants increased most in North Carolina (508 percent), Nevada (454 percent), Georgia (444 percent), Arkansas (400 percent), Nebraska (350 percent), and Tennessee (348 percent).
  • Nationally, 56 percent of children of immigrants are Hispanic, ranging from 3 percent in Vermont to 84 percent in New Mexico.
  • Nationally, 18 percent of these children are not proficient in English, nor are the parents of 61 percent of all children of immigrants.
  • Children of immigrants account for 29 percent of poor children and 30 percent of low-income children (defined as below twice the federal poverty level). Forty-nine percent of children of immigrants live in low-income families.
  • The poverty rate of these children is the highest in New Mexico (34 percent), followed by Texas, Oklahoma, and Maine (30 percent), and Arizona, Colorado, Arkansas, and Tennessee (28 percent).

The updated data tool provides the basis for “Children of Immigrants: 2008 Trends Update,” by Karina Fortuny. Two charts from this report are reprinted below.

The Children of Immigrants Data Tool is a project of the Urban Institute’s Low-Income Working Families project, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Distribution Across States of Children Graph

Share of Children Immigrants Age 0-17 in Poor and Near-Poor Familes

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation. It provides information, analyses, and perspectives to public and private decisionmakers to help them address these problems and strives to deepen citizens’ understanding of the issues and trade-offs that policymakers face.



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Immigrants


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