Second Generation Asian Americans Better Off than Immigrant Parents

Second generation adult children of immigrants are better off than their parents, in terms of socio-economic well-being, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. The children of first-generation immigrants have higher incomes, higher levels of education and are more often homeowners.

Asian and Hispanic Americans comprise about 7 in 10 of today’s adult immigrants, and about half of today’s adult second generation Americans. The Pew survey found that this group was more likely to speak English than their parents; to have friends and spouses outside their ethnic or racial group; to say their group gets along with others and to think of themselves as the “typical American.”

Furthermore, the study found that second-generation Asian and Hispanic Americans place a higher importance than the general public on quality of life indicators such as hard work and career success. The group is also more likely to identify themselves as liberal than conservative or Republican. Second generation Americans are also more likely to acknowledge their standard of living is higher than that of their parents at the same age.

If current immigration trends and birth rates remain on the same path of growth, virtually all (93% of the growth of the nation’s working-age population between now and 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants and their US-born children. This statistic was derived from a population projection by the Pew Research Center.

Furthermore, the Asian and Hispanic immigrant population (first and second generations combined) could grow from 76 million to more than 160 million, at which point it would comprise a record share of the US population, at 37%.

These forward-moving numbers are positive attributes for those considering immigration as well as raising children in the US. Seven in 10 second generation Asian Americans say that conditions for raising children are better in the US than in their parents’ country of origin. Like their immigrant parents, second-generation Americans rate the US more favorably than their ancestral country in terms of treatment of the poor and the opportunity to get ahead.