U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Children of Foreign-Born Parents

The foreign-born population in the United States has increased substantially since the 1970s, largely due to immigration from Asia and Latin America. In 2007, nearly 22 percent of children living in the United States had at least one foreign-born parent. Of all children, 18.3 percent were U.S.-born with a foreign-born parent or parents, and 3.6 percent of children were themselves foreign-born. Most children (74.4 percent) were native-born with native-born parents.

Children’s poverty status varies noticeably with nativity. In 2007, foreign-born children of foreign-born parents were most likely to live in households with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty threshold (25.6 percent) and 100-199 percent of the poverty threshold (31.8 percent). In comparison, only 15.8 percent of native-born children of native-born parents lived below 100 percent of the poverty threshold.

A number of other sociodemographic indicators vary by children’s nativity. For instance, native-born children with native-born parents were the most likely to have health insurance in 2007 (91.7 percent), while foreign-born children of foreign-born parents were the least likely to be insured (59.1 percent). Just over 83 percent of native-born children with foreign-born parents had health insurance coverage (data not shown).1

1 The U.S. Census Bureau poverty threshold was $21,203 for a family of four in 2007. Following the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty.

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