Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Second Generation Immigrants More Successful Than Parents

A very interesting study of second-generation immigrants, with the good news that children are doing better than their parents in terms of education and income:

Verenisa Alfaro has two master's degrees, owns a home and considers herself solidly middle class. Her Mexican immigrant parents have a third-grade education, held low-paying jobs and still rent in a working-class neighborhood here.

Ms. Alfaro's success may be more prevalent than most people think, according to a study released Thursday, which found that adult children of immigrants are substantially better off than the immigrant generation. By key measures—including education, home ownership and income—they are at least as successful as the general U.S. population.

The independent Pew Research Center based its assessment of the 20 million adult children of immigrants on census data and national surveys. It found that the majority are likely to speak English proficiently and consider themselves "a typical American."

The report offers one of the first snapshots of the adult offspring of the massive, four-decade wave of newcomers to this country, mainly from Latin America and Asia.

"Initial signs are that in terms of economic progress, educational achievement and social integration, they are following the classic path of children of immigrants, doing better than the immigrants themselves," said Paul Taylor, Pew's executive vice president.

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