Asian immigrants' kids better off than US population

Washington, Feb 8 (IANS) America's 20 million adult US-born children of Asian and Hispanic immigrants are substantially better off than their parents in household income, college graduation rates and home-ownership levels, according to a new study.

These second generation Americans are also more likely to speak English, have friends outside their racial or ethnic group and view themselves as a "typical American", the Pew Research Centre's Social and Demographic Trends Project found.

Indian Americans are not counted separately in the study and are included among Asian Americans, who together with Hispanics make up about seven-in-10 of today's adult immigrants and about half of today's adult second generation.

The second-generation Hispanics and Asian Americans also place more importance than does the general public on hard work and career success, according to the Pew analysis of US Census Bureau data.

They are more inclined to call themselves liberal and less likely to identify as Republicans, it said. And for the most part they are more likely to say their standard of living is higher than that of their parents at the same stage of life.

The report comes as the US Congress gears up to consider immigration reforms to tackle the problem of over 11 million illegal immigrants, including some 250,000 Indians.

Given current immigration trends and birth rates, virtually all (93 percent) of the growth of America's working-age population between now and 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants and their US-born children, the study projected.

Key findings:

Second generation adults are doing better than the first generation in median household income ($58,000 versus $46,000); college degrees (36 percent versus 29 percent); and homeownership (64 percent versus 51 percent).

They are less likely to be in poverty (11 percent versus 18 percent) and less likely to have not finished high school (10 percent versus 28 percent).

Roughly six-in-10 adults in the second generation consider themselves to be a "typical American," about double the share of immigrants who say the same.

Still, most in the second generation also have a strong sense of identity with their ancestral roots. Majorities say they identify themselves most often by their family's country of origin.

About one-in-six (15 percent) married second-generation adults have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity from themselves, compared with 8 percent of all immigrants and 8 percent of all US adults.

Intermarriage rates are especially high for second-generation Hispanics (26 percent) and Asian Americans (23 percent).

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

Arun Kumar

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