But whatever the ultimate trajectory, it is clear that many of today’s Latino youths, be they first or second generation, are straddling two worlds as they adapt to the new homeland.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center’s National Survey of Latinos, more than half (52%) of Latinos ages 16 to 25 identify themselves first by their family’s country of origin, be it Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador or any of more than a dozen other Spanish-speaking countries.
An additional 20% generally use the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” first when describing themselves.
S.-born children of immigrants) and third and higher generation (U.S.-born grandchildren or more far-removed descendants of immigrants).Illegal immigration, in particular, has become a highly-charged political issue in recent times.It is also a relatively new phenomenon; past immigration waves did not generate large numbers of illegal immigrants because the U. imposed fewer restrictions on immigration flow in the past than it does now.Some say the illegal status of so many of today’s immigrants is a major obstacle to their upward mobility.
Some say the close proximity of today’s sending countries and the relative ease of modern global communication reduce the felt need of immigrants and their families to acculturate to their new country.The report explores the attitudes, values, social behaviors, family characteristics, economic well-being, educational attainment and labor force outcomes of these young Latinos.It is based on a new Pew Hispanic Center telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,012 Latinos, supplemented by the Center’s analysis of government demographic, economic, education and health data sets. Young Latinos are satisfied with their lives, optimistic about their futures and place a high value on education, hard work and career success.It will probably take at least another generation’s worth of new facts on the ground to know whether these theories have merit.But it is not too soon to take some snapshots and lay down some markers.This report does so by assembling a wide range of empirical evidence (some generated by our own new survey; some by our analysis of government data) and subjecting it to a series of comparisons: between Latinos and non-Latinos; between young Latinos and older Latinos; between foreign-born Latinos and native-born Latinos; and between first, second, and third and higher generations of Latinos.