Statistics About Immigrant Parents in the U.S.
Learn more about how many immigrants are raising children in the United States
The following Q&A is from “Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States,” published by the Migration Policy Institute, February 26, 2015.
How many children in the United States live with immigrant parents?
In 2012, 17.4 million children under age 18 lived at home with at least one immigrant parent. They accounted for 25 percent of the 70.2 million children under age 18 in the United States.
The 15.2 million second-generation children—those who were born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent—accounted for 88 percent of all children with immigrant parents. The remaining 12 percent (2.2 million) were children living in the United States in 2012 who were born outside the United States to foreign-born parents.
How has the number of children living with immigrant parents changed?
Between 1990 and 2000, the number of children ages 17 and under with immigrant parents grew 60 percent, from 8.2 million to 13.1 million. Between 2000 and 2012, the number grew 33 percent from 13.1 million to 17.4 million.
For first-generation immigrant children (those born outside the United States), population growth was sizeable between 1990 and 2000, when the population grew by 43 percent (from 1.9 million to 2.7 million), but declined 20 percent between 2000 and 2012, from 2.7 million to 2.2 million.
The number of second-generation immigrant children (born in the United States to foreign-born parents) has grown steadily since 1990. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of second-generation immigrant children grew 65 percent (from 6.3 million to 10.4 million). Between 2000 and 2012, this population grew by 46 percent (from 10.4 million to 15.2 million).
In 1990, 13 percent of all children in the United States were living with immigrant parents, rising to 19 percent in 2000, and 25 percent in 2012. The share of second-generation children among all children with immigrant parents has grown from 77 percent in 1990 to 80 percent in 2000 and to 88 percent in 2012.
How many children living with immigrant parents are in low-income families?
There were 31.1 million children under 18 living in poor families (i.e., with family incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold) in the United States. Of them, almost 9.6 million (or 31 percent) were children of immigrants.
What are the top five states in terms of the number of children living with immigrant parents?
In 2012, the top five states by the total number of children living with immigrant parents were California (4.4 million), Texas (2.3 million), New York (1.5 million), Florida (1.2 million), and Illinois (777,000). These five states accounted for 59 percent of all children with immigrant parents.
What are the top five states by share of children living with immigrant parents in the state’s total child population?
In terms of the share of children with immigrant parents, the top five states in 2012 were California (50 percent of all children in the state), Nevada (39 percent), New Jersey and New York (36 percent each), and Texas (34 percent).
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