Undocumented Immigrants: Intact Families, Greater Poverty

The nations population of about 12 million undocumented immigrants has more intact families and stay-at-home moms, higher rates of poverty and lower percentages of people with health insurance than the population in general. A demographic "Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants" released by the Pew Hispanic Center April 14, reported few dramatic changes in the characteristics of the population in the five years since Pews last report. It noted that after growing rapidly between 1990 and 2006, the population of undocumented immigrants has stabilized, changing little since 2006. Among the more striking differences reported, however, are a higher percentage of "mixed-status" families, where the children are U.S. citizens and one or both parents are in the country illegally. Pew reported that 8.8 million people live in mixed-status families, consisting of 3.8 million undocumented immigrant adults and half a million children in the country without documents. The balance, 4.5 million, are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Men ages 18-39 make up 35 percent of the undocumented immigrant population; many of them are single. But Pew estimates that 47 percent of undocumented immigrant households consist of couples with children, which compares to 35 percent of legal immigrant households and 21 percent of households of U.S. natives.

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