The median annual household income for the U.S.-born children of immigrants is $58,100, a marked improvement over the $45,800 their parents generated and nearly as high as the $58,200 median income for all U.S. adults, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.
As President Obama and members of Congress consider an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws that could grant a path to citizenship to some of the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., the economics of that plan has become an integral part of the debate.
"By then, the nation's 'immigrant stock'... could grow from around 76 million now to more than 160 million, at which point it would comprise a record share (37%) of the U.S. population," the report said.
About 93% of second-generation Hispanic immigrants say they can carry on a conversation in English well or very well, compared with 48% of their parents. And 92% of Asian immigrants say they speak English well or very well, compared with 77% of their parents.
"The second generations of both groups are much more likely than the immigrants to speak English, to have friends and spouses outside their ethnic or racial groups, to say their group gets along well with others, and to think of themselves as a 'typical American,' " the report said.
• 36% of second-generation immigrants have at least a bachelor's degree from college, compared with 29% of their parents and 31% of all U.S. adults.
• The home ownership rate of second-generation immigrants is 64%, compared with 51% for their parents and 65% for all U.S. adults.
• Most second-generation immigrants (58%) still describe themselves by their ethnic background or their country of origin.