Co-funded with the Carnegie Corporation
Immigrants and their families undergo profound cultural and socioeconomic changes as a consequence of entering the U.S., but the extent to which this process has changed over time remains unclear, due in large part to data limitations. Most studies rely on cross-sectional data, which may overstate the convergence of immigrants to the native-born. Until now, no nationally representative data source with large enough national origin group samples has linked immigrant parents to their children and grandchildren. As a result, it has been difficult to clarify the extent to which contemporary immigrants’ assimilation patterns differ from those of prior generations. Social demographers Jennifer Van Hook, Mark Leach and James Bachmeier will use newly available linked longitudinal data to follow immigrant parents, their children and grandchildren from 1940 to 2014. They will study how educational attainment, integration, and mobility patterns of recent Mexican immigrants compare to those of immigrants from past eras. They will also explore differences in intergenerational progress in educational attainment between the offspring of Mexican immigrants and contemporaneous immigrants from countries including Germany, Ireland, and Italy.