JOURNAL ARTICLE

Familial influences on poverty among young children in black immigrant, U.S.-born black, and nonblack immigrant families

Kevin J A Thomas
Demography 2011, 48 (2): 437-60
21491186
This study examines how familial contexts affect poverty disparities between the children of immigrant and U.S.-born blacks, and among black and nonblack children of immigrants. Despite lower gross child poverty rates in immigrant than in U.S.-born black families, accounting for differences in family structure reveals that child poverty risks among blacks are highest in single-parent black immigrant families. In addition, within two-parent immigrant families, child poverty declines associated with increasing assimilation are greater than the respective declines in single-parent families. The heads of black immigrant households have more schooling than those of native-black households. However, increased schooling has a weaker negative association with child poverty among the former than among the latter. In terms of racial disparities among the children of immigrants, poverty rates are higher among black than nonblack children. This black disadvantage is, however, driven by the outcomes of first-generation children of African and Hispanic-black immigrants. The results also show that although children in refugee families face elevated poverty risks, these risks are higher among black than among nonblack children of refugees. In addition, the poverty-reducing impact associated with having an English-proficient household head is about three times lower among black children of immigrants than among non-Hispanic white children of immigrants.

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