Equity & Diversity

How Do U.S.-Born Latino Youths Fare in the United States?

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 11, 2009 1 min read

In some respects, U.S.-born Latino youths between ages 16 and 25 have a better life than Latinos of the same ages born outside the United States. They have better English skills, are less likely to be high school dropouts, and are less likely to work for low pay and become a parent as a teenager, according to a portrait of Latino youths in the United States released today by the Pew Hispanic Center. Read the take of The Associated Press on the report here.

But at the same time, in some ways, U.S.-born Latino youths don’t do as well as their foreign-born counterparts. They are twice as likely to have connections to a gang or have gotten involved in a fight or had a weapon on them in the past year. They are more likely to end up in prison. And the 3rd generation of Latino youths is worse off in some respects, such as having higher poverty rates, than the 2nd generation.

I’ve written about the “immigration paradox” here at EdWeek, how sometimes the 2nd or 3rd generation of school-age children in an immigrant family don’t do as well in U.S. society as the 1st generation.

It’s an issue of concern to many educators.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.