The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families

Brief

The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families

The authors analyze data from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families and find that immigrant families have important strengths but face significant challenges. Among the strengths: a high proportion of children of immigrants live in two-parent families compared to children of natives. While children of immigrants are more likely to live in low-income families, these families are more likely to have full-time workers than children of low-income native families. Among the challenges: Children of immigrants living in two parent families are substantially more likely to be low-income than children of natives who live in two-parent families because immigrant workers receive lower wages and the second parent is less likely to work. Children of immigrants are more likely to be in fair or poor health and not have a usual source of health care. The researchers conclude that policies intended to promote work and marriage may be less helpful to immigrants than those intended to boost income through work supports. [Read the press release]

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