In some racial and ethnic groups, children of immigrants are outperforming children of U.S.-born parents, according to Diverse Children, a Foundation for Child Development study.
For example, black children of immigrant parents do better then their native counterparts in income level, parent education and employment and high school graduation.
Overall, children of immigrant families are more likely to be poor and to do poorly in school than are children of native families, notes Ed Week‘s Inside School Research. However, immigrant families have some advantages.
Regardless of ethnicity, children of immigrant parents were as or more likely than children of native families to have parents with secure jobs, and less likely to live in one-parent families. Moreover, for all groups except Asians, immigrant families tend to move less frequently than U.S.-born families; that could be a benefit, in terms of stability and school continuity, but less helpful if it signals families trapped in segregated low-income neighborhoods.
Hispanic immigrant families struggle financially: 71 percent of Hispanic children of immigrants are in lower-income families with a median income of $33,396. However, that’s higher than the median household income for black children of native parents, $29,977.
The median income of white and Asian families — regardless of immigration status — ranges from the mid- to high-$70,000s
Fourth-graders who speak English as a second language do nearly as well as native speakers on NAEP exams, but the racial/ethnic achievement gap is wide.
High school graduation rates are higher for children of white and black immigrants, but lower for children of Hispanic and Asian immigrants. “Moreover, children from immigrant families were less likely to be disconnected—out of school without a diploma or a job— than students from U.S.-born parents,” the study found.