Children of Foreign-Born Parents

The foreign-born population in the United States has increased substantially since the 1970s, largely due to immigration from Asia and Latin America. In 2006, more than 21 percent of children living in the United States had at least one foreign-born parent. Of all children, 17.2 percent were born in the United States to foreign-born parents and nearly 4 percent were foreign-born. Most children were native-born and lived in households with one or both native parents (74.4 percent).

Children’s poverty status varies with nativity. In 2006, foreign-born children of foreign-born parents were most likely to live in households with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty level (30.4 percent) and 100–199 percent of the poverty level (30.8 percent). Only 15.4 percent of native-born children of native parents lived below 100 percent of the poverty level, as did 20.2 percent of native children of foreign-born parents.1

Children’s health insurance coverage also varied by nativity in 2006. Native-born children with native parents were the most likely to be insured (92.1 percent), while foreign-born children of foreign-born parents were the least likely to be insured (66.0 percent). Just over 84 percent of native-born children of foreign-born parents had health insurance coverage (data not shown).

1 The U.S. Census Bureau poverty threshold was $20,444 for a family of four in 2006. Following the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty.

Back to Top