GRMF20-01: Continuous Convergence or Cumulative (Dis)advantage? U.S. Immigrants’ Economic Integration in Later Life



People migrate at various ages and, depending on their age at migration, have different life opportunities as well as needs for public assistance. Immigrants who arrive in the U.S. under the age of 18 are commonly sorted into a “1.5 generation” and a first generation because those arriving as adolescents differ greatly from those arriving as infant/young children on linguistic, educational, and occupational outcomes. Immigrants who arrive in the U.S. as adults, despite being just as heterogeneous, are less clearly sorted by their age at migration. This project provides a systematic analysis of the effect of age at migration ona wide variety of retirement outcomes, from health and insurance coverage to living arrangements, income and household wealth. It responds timely to the recent increase in the average age of new immigrants in the U.S. and renewed political debates over immigration policies and the “public charge rule”. Results from the project can inform policy makers about the degree to which there exists a “0.5 generation” whose outcomes and needs differ greatly from their earlier-arriving counterparts, who may also draw on a completely different set of resources to support their needs.


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