Immigrants are adapting faster to U.S., but Mexicans lag economically, study says
Modern-day immigrants are assimilating faster than past generations, even though they tend to arrive with fewer English skills, says a study issued today by the Manhattan Institute. The study was written by Jacob Vigdor, a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University.
"This is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."
A possible explanation, Vigdor said, was that the economic expansion of the 1990s created more job opportunities at all levels, speeding the economic integration of immigrants. It could also be that because today's immigrants begin at such a low starting point, "it's easier to make progress to the next level up" of integration than it would be if the immigrant had to improve on an already high level of integration. (Washington Post).
According to the study, the gap in economic and civic assimilation rates between native-born and foreign populations in the United States is particularly large for Mexicans, as also reflected by a study of Latina women released last week -- see the La Plaza post here. However, the report notes, Mexican immigrants "have increased their rate of cultural assimilation." (See this La Plaza post on a related topic.) Other immigrant groups assimilate more rapidly economically than they do culturally.
Here's what Vigdor had to say about that in the report's executive summary:
-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City