Hispanic Children Growing Percent of Younger Generation

The full report "Changes in the Lives of U.S. Children: 1990 - 2000," from the U.S. Census Bureau, can be found at:http://www.census.gov/population/www/techpap.html. Source: HispanicBusiness.com

Fully 17 percent of U.S. children under age 18 were Hispanic in 2000. That was up from 12 percent in 1990 and represented an increase of 4.6 million Hispanic children in the age group, according to the Census report "Changes in the Lives of U.S. Children 1990 - 2000."

All 50 states posted an increase in the Hispanic proportion of their youngest inhabitants. Since Hispanics tend to be highly concentrated in certain geographic areas, the changes within states with larger Hispanic populations are even more dramatic. For example, Hispanic Children comprised 50.9 percent of the under-18 population in New Mexico at the millennium, up from 45.5 percent in 1990. (See chart "Distribution/Characteristics of U.S. Children Under Age 18.")

The rate of increase varied considerably by state – the highest being a 14.8 percentage point jump in Nevada, from 13.8 percent in 1990 to 28.5 percent in 2000.

On a regional basis, the under-18 population of the Western states is 33.3 percent Hispanic overall and has increased the fastest (7.8 percentage points between 1990 and 2000).

Among the reasons for the relatively faster increase of the Hispanic under-18 population is that the U.S. Hispanic population is on average younger than the overall U.S. population, and Hispanic women tend to have higher fertility rates.

And, though immigration is not broken down by country of origin, the report indicates that for the U.S. under-18 population overall:

The proportion categorized as "recent immigrants" (children who came to the U.S. within five years prior to the survey date) increased from 3.3 percent to 4.4 percent between the 1990 and 2000 surveys.

The proportion of "foreign-born" children increased from 2.7 percent to 3.7 percent.

And children who were not U.S. citizens at survey time increased slightly, from 2.7 percent to 3.5 percent.

Additionally, the percentage of all U.S. children speaking a language other than English at home rose from 13.9 percent in 1990 to 18.4 percent in 2000, while the percentage of children reported as having "difficulty speaking English," information of interest to education systems, increased from 5.2 percent of children in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 2000.

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