Pew Finds Second-Generation Americans Doing Significantly Better Than Parents
Second-generation Americans earn higher incomes, and are more likely to have college degrees, than their foreign-born parents. A new study out earlier this month by the Pew Research Center analyzed census data for 20 million adult children of immigrants.
Lisa Garcia Bedolla is a political science professor at UC Berkeley with degrees from Cal and Yale. In 1961, her parents left Cuba for the United States.
"I am the product of a refugee policy that gave my parents a soft landing—not an easy landing, but a soft landing. And really allowed us to thrive in this country," Bedolla said.
Asians and Hispanics make up about half the group studied—most of the rest are white. Bedolla says she's troubled that only 21 percent of second-generation Latinos earned a Bachelors degree, compared to 55 percent of Asians.
"Given Latinos are such a large proportion of the state of California, we really need to make sure we have a workforce and a population that’s able to do the jobs of the 21st Century."
The study found second generation Americans are also more likely than their parents to be liberal, own homes, and intermarry.