Latino assimilation

The U.S.-born children of immigrants are replacing their parents as the fastest-growing generation in the Latino population, and the shift will have profound effects on the country’s largest minority group.

The children of immigrants are likely to move closer to the mainstream than their parents — marrying people from other backgrounds, for example. Their political views are likely to change as well, becoming more liberal on abortion, experts say, but less supportive of affirmative action. Their earnings and education will surpass those of their parents, experts predict, but will not close the gap with the Anglo majority.

“The biggest difference is that we’re shifting from a process where the largest component is Spanish-speaking immigrants — where language and immigration status were two enormous questions — to growth of a population that is English-speaking and native-born,” said Roberto Suro, the Pew center’s director. “You totally move away from the issues that have been dominant. They have a totally different set of issues than their parents do.”

My take: Good news all around. I don’t believe common cries that America is collapsing under the weight of Latino immigration, for one statement of this view, see Mexifornia, by Victor Davis Hanson. No, market prices are not always right, but until real estate prices collapse in California and Texas, it is hard to be so worried about the problem. The Great American Experiment continues to work.

Here is the Washington Post article. Here is the home page of the Pew Hispanic Center, I don’t yet see the study on-line. Here is a relevant interview, with Jeffrey Passel and Rebecca Blank, two researchers in the area.


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