Demography of Immigrant Youth: Past, Present and Future

Jeffrey S. Passel
Date of Publication: 
April, 2011
Source Organization: 

Jeffrey Passel traces shifts in the youth population over the past hundred years, examines population projections through 2050 and offers some observations about the likely impact of the immigrant youth population on American society.

Passel provides data on the legal status of immigrant youth and their families and on their geographic distribution and concentration across the U.S. He emphasizes two demographic shifts. First, immigrant youth now account for one-fourth of the nation's 75 million children. By 2050 they are projected to make up one-third of more than 100 million U.S. children. Second, the wave of immigration under way since the mid-1960s has made children the most racially and ethnically diverse age group in the U.S.

This changing demographic structure in U.S. youth is likely to present policy makers with several challenges in coming decades, including higher rates of poverty among youth, particularly among foreign-born children and children of undocumented parents; high concentrations of immigrants in a handful of states; and a lack of political voice.

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Passel, J. S. (2011). Demography of Immigrant Youth: Past, Present and Future. Immigrant Children, 21(1), 19-41.