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Most Latino children in US were born here, study says

By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post / May 29, 2009
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WASHINGTON - A majority of Hispanic children are now the US-born children of immigrants, primarily Mexicans who came to this country in an immigration wave that began around 1980, according to a report released yesterday.

The analysis of Census data by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center charts a demographic shift among the nation's 16 million Hispanic children, who are one of the fastest-growing child populations in the United States and already account for more than one out of five US children.

As recently as 1980, nearly six in 10 Latino children were in the third generation or higher, meaning their parents, and often their grandparents and great-grandparents, were native-born US citizens.

Only three in 10 were in the second generation - born in the United States to parents who had immigrated.

Now those US-born children of Latino immigrants account for 52 percent of all Latino children.

The share of first-generation Latino children - born abroad - has dropped from 13 percent to 11 percent since 1980.

By 2025, nearly one in three children in the United States will be Latino, study coauthor Jeffrey S. Passel projects.