Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. Youth are 1st or 2nd-Generation Diaspora Members

In an ever flattening world, American youth is an enormous resource.  Today, the number of American young adults that can easily navigate two cultures is greater than at any point in the last fifteen years.  If harnessed, their bi-cultural ease has an amazing potential to expand global trading, support overseas development, and strengthen diplomatic relationships.

American in every sense of the word, at least 14.95 million youth in the U.S .have family backgrounds that privilege them with fluency in a second culture and often a second language.  The red and blue slivers in my pie chart illustrate this surprising finding.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Current Population Survey revealed that nearly one out of three Americans between the ages of 16 and 26 (32.3 percent) were either born outside of the United States (first generation) or had a parent who was (second generation).

Among this sub-population, 8.43 million (56.4 percent) were first generation immigrants and 6.52 million (43.6 percent) were in the second generation.

Whenever I learn something interesting about our country’s people like this, I want to know how it fits into the larger picture. Is this a new phenomenon or part of an ongoing demographic shift?  What are the predominating countries of heritage among this population?  How do their academic achievements compare to Americans who are in the third generation or higher?  What are some of the ways that this population is engaging with their countries of heritage?

Continue reading the blog as we uncover what it means to be a young American diaspora member.

Would you like your question about diaspora youth answered on this blog? Leave your questions and comments on this topic, and we’ll try to get to all of them.