U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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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 2008, 22.0 percent of children in the United States had at least one foreign-born parent. Of all children, 18.6 percent were U.S.-born with a foreign-born parent or parents, and 3.4 percent were themselves foreign- born. Most children (73.9 percent) were native-born with native-born parents.

Children’s poverty status varies with their nativity. In 2008, foreign-born children with foreign-born parents were most likely to live in poverty, with 30.1 percent living in households with incomes below 100 percent of the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty threshold ($22, 025 for a family of four in 2008). Another 27.8 percent of these children lived in households with family incomes of 100–199 percent of the poverty threshold. Native-born children with native parents were the least likely to experience poverty, with 15.9 percent living in households with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty threshold, and another 18.7 percent living in households with incomes of 100–199 percent of the poverty threshold.

A number of other sociodemographic factors vary by the nativity of children and their parents. For instance, native-born children with native parents were most likely to have health insurance in 2008 (92.2 percent), while foreign-born children with foreign-born parents were least likely (68.7 percent). Almost 85 percent of native-born children with foreign-born parents had health insurance in 2008 (data not shown).

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