The Hispanic Family in Flux

Source: The Brookings Institution

By virtue of its size, growth, and relative youth, the Hispanic population will have a growing impact on all policy matters related to the family according to a new report. This impact will be large and distinctive. The growth of the Hispanic population has already slowed the decline of the two-parent parent family in the United States as immigration produces a steady flow of young adults with a higher propensity to marry than their native-born peers, both Latino and non-Latino. But, immigration, particularly under current policies, is also producing a disproportionate number of Hispanics who are geographically separated from their spouses. The dynamics shaping the Hispanic family are both complex and fluid. Within the Hispanic population there are notable differences in the prevalence of some key behaviors. Of greatest concern is the finding that births to women who are unmarried are more common among native-born Latinos than foreign born Latinos. Such differences are especially significant for the long term because a large and growing share of the youth population is made up of the native-born children of immigrants. Survey data shows that a powerful process of acculturation is taking place among immigrants and their offspring which produces an erosion of the strong sense of family evident among recent immigrants in favor of attitudes similar to those of non-Latinos in the U.S. population.

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