Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. PF 1.5 Immigrant children

04/01/1997

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Rates of immigration have varied substantially over periods of our history, as have the countries and cultures from which these immigrants originate. Recently the U.S. has been experiencing a period of high immigration. Immigrant children are of particular interest, since they may have special needs that must be addressed through the education system.

The percentage of Americas children and youth who are foreign born has been increasing steadily over the last several decades, from 1.2 percent in 1970 to 3.7 percent in 1990 (see Figure PF 1.5.A).

Differences by Age. Older children are more likely than younger children to be foreign born. In 1990, 6.5 percent of youth ages 15 to 19 were foreign born, compared to only 1.4 percent of children under age five (see Table PF 1.5).

Differences by Race and Ethnicity. The percentage of children who are foreign-born varies substantially by racial and ethnic background (see Figure PF 1.5.B). In 1980, less than two percent of whites, blacks and Native Americans were foreign born, compared to 40.0 percent of Asians and 14.0 percent of Hispanics. By 1990, the percentage of foreign-born Asian children had declined from 40.0 to 33.2 percent, while the percentage of foreign-born Hispanic children increased to almost 16 percent.

 

Figure PF 1.5.A 
Percentage of U.S. Children Ages 19 and Under Who Were Foreign Borna: 19701990

FIGPF1_5A.GIF

Notes: aIncludes both immigrants and illegal aliens.

 Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, The Foreign-Born Population in the U.S., 1990, CP-3-1, and 1990 STF-3A census files. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Detailed Characteristics of the Population, 1980, Chapter D, U.S. Summary. U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Origin and Language, PC(2-1A), 1970.
 

Figure PF 1.5.B  
Percentage of U.S. Children Ages 19 and Under Who Were Foreign Borna by Race/Ethnicity: 1980-1990

FIGPF1_5B.GIF

Notes: aIncludes both immigrants and illegal aliens.

 Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, The Foreign-Born Population in the U.S., 1990, CP-3-1, and 1990 STF-3A census files. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Detailed Characteristics of the Population, 1980, Chapter D, U.S. Summary. U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Origin and Language, PC(2-1A), 1970.

 

Table PF 1.5 
Percentage of U.S. Children Ages 19 and Under Who Were Foreign-Born 
by Age and Race/Ethnicity: 1970-1990
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1970
1980
1990
 
 
   
 
All Children 
1.2
2.9
3.7
 
 
 
 
 
Under 5 years
 
0.6
1.4
1.4
5 to 9 years
 
1.1
2.6
2.7
10-14 years
 
1.4
3.2
4.3
15-19 years
 
1.8
4.1
6.5
 
 
 
 
 
Race/Ethnicity 
 
White
1.2
1.7
1.8
 
Black
0.5
1.8
2.2
 
American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut
 
1.5
1.1
 
Asian and Pacific Islander
 
40
33.2
 
Hispanic
 
14
15.8
         

Notes: aIncludes both immigrants and illegal aliens. 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, The Foreign-Born Population in the U.S., 1990, CP-3-1, and 1990 STF-3A census files. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Detailed Characteristics of the Population, 1980, Chapter D, U.S. Summary. U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Origin and Language, PC(2-1A), 1970.

 

 

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