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Census Bureau Reports Foreign-Born Households are Larger, Include More Children and Grandparents

May 11, 2012

Census Bureau Reports Foreign-Born Households are Larger, Include More Children and Grandparents
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that foreign-born households are, on average, larger than native households, have more children under age 18, and are more likely to be multigenerational.

The average size of foreign-born households (3.4 people) was larger than that of native-born households (2.5 people). About 62 percent of foreign-born family households included children under 18, compared with 47 percent of native-born households. Multigenerational households, with three or more generations living together, were more common among foreign-born (10 percent) than native-born (5 percent) family households.

Among the regions of birth, family households with a householder born in Latin America and the Caribbean were the most likely to include children under 18 (70 percent), followed by Africa (67 percent), Oceania (60 percent) and Asia (56 percent). Families with a householder born in Northern America or Europe (both less than 40 percent) were less likely to include children under 18 than native-born households. (Oceania consists of Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia; Northern America consists of Canada, Bermuda, Greenland, and St. Pierre and Miquelon.)

A family household consists of a householder and one or more people living together who are related to the householder by birth, marriage or adoption. About 77 percent of foreign-born households were family households, compared with 65 percent of native-born households.

These data come from The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2010, a new report about the characteristics of the nation’s foreign-born population from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The report also examines differences among foreign-born region-of- birth groups on a wide range of topics that include age, sex, marital status, fertility, period of entry into the United States, naturalization and citizenship status, language, education, labor force participation, occupation, health insurance coverage, income and poverty.

“There is considerable variation among the different foreign-born groups in household type and composition,” said Elizabeth M. Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Foreign-Born Population Branch and one of the authors of the report. “This diversity is also seen in the other demographic, social and economic characteristics covered in this report.”

+ Full Report (PDF)


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