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Children of Recent Immigrants
National and Regional Trends

Authors: Ayana Douglas-Hall and Heather Koball
Publication Date: December 2004

This is an excerpt from the full report.

Over the past decade, the United States experienced a 25 percent increase in the number of children living with immigrant parents.1 Today, over 11 million children—half of them low income—live in households with only immigrant parents. Over 3 million children live in households with recent immigrant parents, meaning their parents immigrated within the past 10 years. Among these children, two-thirds are low-income.

Although fewer than 10 percent of all low-income children have parents who are recent immigrants, for these children, the challenges in academic, physical, emotional, and social development usually associated with economic insecurity are likely to be exacerbated by language barriers, the process of migration and acculturation, and restrictions on access to safety-net programs.

This report looks at regional differences in how children in recent immigrant families fare—their economic circumstances, family characteristics, and public benefits use—and the implications for public policy. All recent immigrants, documented and undocumented, are included, although it is likely that undocumented immigrants are underrepresented in the analysis.