Second-Generation Immigrants Excel

Alden Wicker

second generation immigrantsIt seems that America is still the land of opportunity, especially for children of immigrants.

A new Pew study released Thursday shows that second-generation immigrants have, not surprisingly, surpassed their parents in terms of income and education. But they’re also achieving success even when compared to their American peers.

They have a median household income about equal to the general U.S. population at $58,000, and a similar percentage of second-generation immigrants and the general public own homes (64% versus 65%).

In two areas, they’ve surpassed Americans who have been here for several generations: They are less likely to live in poverty, and have higher educational attainment.

That might be because second-generation Hispanics and Asian Americans—who make up the bulk of immigrants—place more importance on hard work and career success than the general public. But they are likely to consider themselves a “typical American”—six in ten said so.

We know you know one (or ten) second-generation immigrants—there’s 19.7 million of them. So go give your Asian, Hispanic, African or Middle Eastern friend or colleague a high-five.

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  • Mario

    Regarding word choice, are “second generation immigrants” still immigrants? If they were born here, aren’t they just kids of immigrants?

    • AMK

      Agree with you on that point.  I consider myself “second-generation American.” 

      • Mario

        I like that a lot :)

  • Ahmeaf

    Sorry, but its really weird that the last paragraph talks about second generation immigrants as if they are not the audience of the article. Wow, me and everyone in my family and most of my social circle are second generation- lets go around giving high fives to ourselves!

    I love Learnvest, but this article presupposes a certain kind of audience, which is irritating. 

  • Bibiksi45

    Thanks for sharing – this should make all immigrant parents very proud and it may help to alleviate the notion that immigrants are just “illegal aliens”