Second-generation Americans better off than their parents

Lino Lakes family
Thai Lee, right, and his family, including, from left, daughter Maddy, 4, wife Mai, mother May Bo Lee, daughter Evelyn, 4 months, and son Eleazer, 5, enjoy at evening together at their home in Lino Lakes, Minn. Feb. 21, 2012. Lee said that he and his family have been welcomed into the community since moving to Lino Lakes nearly three years ago.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The 20 million second-generation Americans are substantially better off than their parents on several key measures of socioeconomic attainment including income, educational achievement and home ownership, according to a new Pew study.

They are also more likely to marry outside of their race or ethnicity and consider themselves a "typical American."

More from Bloomberg on the Pew study, released Feb. 7:

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The report comes as the White House prepares an immigration-policy package opposed by many Republicans who view the new arrivals as a costly population dependent on entitlements and likely to support Democrats. Immigrants and their children are expected to make up as much as 93 percent of the U.S. working-age population growth between now and 2050, according to a 2008 report by Pew cited in the latest study.

"The great American immigration experiment appears to be working in the 21st century as it has in the past," said Paul Taylor, executive director of the Pew project. "It's early yet. But so far, so good."

Ruben Rumbaut, professor of sociology at the University of California-Irvine, and co-author of "Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation," joins The Daily Circuit to talk about the study. John Mollenkopf, distinguished professor of political science and sociology and director of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, also joined the discussion.


Read the Pew study

Second-generation immigrants overtaking U.S. population success (Bloomberg)

The second generation and the children of immigrants (Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol. 28 No. 6)

Immigration study: 'Second Generation' has edge (NPR)