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THE NEW LATIN NATION: Immigration and the Hispanic Population of the United States1

  • Alejandro Portes (a1)


This article presents an overview of the Hispanic population of the United States, focusing on the sources of its growth, its internal composition, its connections with the countries of origin, its role in the U.S. economy, and the emerging second generation. Intergenerational differences in outlooks and self-identities and the forces leading to the emergence of a “thick” Hispanic identity in the second generation are examined. The obstacles to successful integration faced by this youthful population and evidence of both “upward” and “downward” assimilation among its members are analyzed. Implications for the field of race and ethnic relations and for public policy toward immigrants and their offspring are discussed.


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Professor Alejandro Portes, Department of Sociology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1010. E-mail:


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This paper was originally commissioned by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute of California for its project on Latinos in the United States. I acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions of Rodolfo De la Garza, Louis DeSipio, Jorge Domínguez, and members of this project. The responsibility for the contents is solely mine. The data on which the paper is partially based were collected by the Comparative Immigrant Entrepreneurship Project (CIEP) supported by the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Ford Foundation; and the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS), supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



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THE NEW LATIN NATION: Immigration and the Hispanic Population of the United States1

  • Alejandro Portes (a1)


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