Thursday, May 28, 2009

Latino Children: A Majority Are U.S.-Born Offspring of Immigrants

The times, they are a-changin' ...

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, released a report showing that Hispanics now make up more than one-in-five of all children in the U.S. - up from 9% in 1980 -- and as their numbers have grown, their demographic profile has changed.

Note that we're seeing something similar right here in the Puget Sound region--for example, in the Seattle School District it has been estimated that one in five enrolled students is Hispanic. So, while the Seattle-area Hispanic population density is at 8%, school-age Latinos make up 20% of the population.

More than half of the nation's 16 million Hispanic children are the U.S.-born children of at least one foreign-born parent, typically someone who came to this country in the immigration wave from Mexico, Central America and South America that began around 1980.

In summary, what we're seeing is that the children of these immigrants are more likely to speak English, finish high school, and be documented U.S. Citizens than their parents--note that fewer than one-in-ten of all Hispanic children are unauthorized immigrants.

The report, "Latino Children: A Majority Are U.S.-Born Offspring of Immigrants," is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website.

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