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ERIC Number: EJ795832
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 31
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1054-8289
Demographic Change and the Life Circumstances of Immigrant Families
Hernandez, Donald J.
Future of Children, v14 n2 p17-47 Sum 2004
Several major demographic shifts over the past half-century have transformed who we are and how we live in this country in many ways. Most striking, however, is the fact that children today are much more likely to be members of ethnic or racial minority groups. Racial/ethnic minorities are destined, in aggregate, to become the numerical majority within the next few decades. This article presents a wide range of statistics reflecting cultural, family, social, economic, and housing circumstances across various racial/ethnic and country-of-origin groups. Key observations include: (1) Children in immigrant families are much less likely than children in native-born families to have only one parent in the home, and they are nearly twice as likely as those in native-born families to be living with grandparents, other relatives, and non-relatives; (2) Parental educational attainment is perhaps the most central feature of family circumstances relevant to overall child well-being and development, regardless of race/ethnicity or immigrant origins; (3) Children in immigrant families were only slightly less likely than children in native-born families to have a father who worked during the past year, but many of their fathers worked less than full-time year-round; and (4) Official poverty rates for children in immigrant families are substantially higher than for children in native-born families (21% versus 14%). The author concludes that these results point to a growing need for policies and programs to assure the health, educational success, and well-being of all children across the varied racial/ethnic and immigrant-origin groups who now live in this country. (Nine appendixes are included: (1) Number of Children of Newcomer Families, by Country of Origin; (2) Parental Education, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (3) Household Composition, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (4) Enrollment in Early Education, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (5) Children's Health Status and Insurance Coverage, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (6) Parental Work Status, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (7) Child Poverty Rates, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; (8) Citizenship and Language Barriers, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group; and (9) Exposure to Multiple Risk Factors, by Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant-Origin Group. Contains 7 figures, 1 table and 40 endnotes.)
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. 267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Tel: 609-258-6979; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A