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New study contrasts immigrant and native-born U.S. Latinas

May 9, 2008 | 10:41 am

Fascinating statistics released today on the demographic makeup of the female Latino community in the United States show some striking, if unsurprising, differences between non-Latino and Latino women, and between native-born and immigrant Latinas.

Nearly half of the 14.4 million Latinas in the United States today were born in this country, or abroad to a U.S parent, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center. The other 52% of Latinas were born in other countries and came to live in the U.S.

More than half of all Latinas report that they speak only English at home or that they speak English very well. Among immigrant Latinas (about half of all Latino women in the U.S), seven in 10 (73%) say that they do not speak English in their homes or that they do not speak English very well.

There are important differences between Latino and non-Latino women in the U.S. For example, Latino women are more likely to live in poverty and are less educated than non-Latino women.

Although both groups are equally likely to be married, Latinas are generally less educated and have a higher fertility rate that non-Latinas. Immigrant Latinas have a higher fertility rate that native-born Latinas. Native-born Latinas are more likely to have children out of wedlock than immigrant Latinas.

Latinas who work full time earn less than non-Latinas who work full time: a median of $460 per week, compared with $615 per week. Native-born Latinas earn a median of $540 per week, while immigrant women earn $400.

Readers can access the full report here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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