Immigrant Children Lag Behind, Posing Risk

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, June 14, 2012

The education, health and socioeconomic lot of the children of immigrants, the fastest-growing population group in the U.S., has raised concerns about how those children will perform when they enter the workforce.

Many of the parents are Hispanic and speak little or no English. And though the story of the U.S. is one of immigrants whose children assimilate, some researchers worry about the prospects for this generation. Their performance, they say, could undermine the U.S. economy as the children grow up, affecting everything from medical services for baby boomers to home prices.

"The baby-boom generation … will increasingly depend on children of immigrants to ensure the economy is productive," said Donald Hernandez, a sociology professor at Hunter College who wrote a report on the children of immigrants.

The report, released Wednesday, was funded by the Foundation for Child Development, a New York-based philanthropy that sponsors research on children's well-being. The report analyzed official demographic, education and health data collected between 1994 and 2010.

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