The Economic Well-Being of Children among Immigrant Generations: A Comparison across Racial and Ethnic Lines

Hsien-Hen Lu, Columbia University
Yuval Elmelech, Bard College

Previous research on children of immigrants distinguished the socioeconomic and demographic differences of first-generation and second-generation children but frequently considered third- and higher-generation children as a homogenous group. By using the newly available information on immigration characteristics in the Current Population Survey (CPS) March Supplement data, this study documents the similarities and disparities in family economic resources between third-generation and the other children by racial and ethnic groups. The results show that the family economic status improved over generations, but the improvement is curvilinear. Third-generation children on average have a higher family income-to-needs ratio than first-, second-, and even higher-generation children. Similar curvilinear patterns can be observed across racial and ethnic groups, and the curvilinear patterns remain after we control for parental and family characteristics.

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Presented in Session 106: Immigrant Children in the U.S.