Cultures & immigration beat: U.S.-born kids are doing all right

  • Article by: ALLIE SHAH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2013 - 8:54 PM

A new report on the U.S.-born children of immigrants finds, overall, they have higher incomes, more education and are less likely to live in poverty than their parents' generation.

The report from the Pew Research Center focused on the 20 million grown children of immigrants; their parents came to America in the last two major immigration waves. Median age for the group is 38.

Based on an analysis of Census data, the report offers a rare and detailed look at today's second-generation Americans. It also comes at a time when U.S. lawmakers are considering making big changes to the nation's immigration laws.

"The second generation is a legacy of the immigrant generation," said D'Vera Cohn, one of the report authors. "It's important to know how they're doing, to see how well they're faring, because they're a consequence of the country's decision to admit immigrants.

"Also, both immigrants and their children are going to be an important part of the U.S. population in the coming decades," she said. "Virtually all the growth in the working age population between now and 2050 will be due to immigrants and their U.S.-born children."

Some key findings:

• Median household income for adult children of immigrants was $58,100, compared with $45,800 for first-generation Americans and $58,200 for all Americans.

• The percentage of second-generation Americans with college degrees was 36 percent, versus 29 percent of immigrants and 31 percent of the overall U.S. population.

• In terms of homeownership, 64 percent of adult children of immigrants have their own homes, just shy of the 65 percent homeownership rate for all Americans; 51 percent of first-generation Americans are homeowners.

• A higher share of second-generation women (41 percent) giving birth recently were unmarried, compared with first-generation women (23 percent).

To read the full report, go to www.pewresearch.org

Allie Shah • 612-673-4488

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