Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Young Latinos: It's The Same Old Cancion
The latest Pew Hispanic Center study, based on a survey of 1200 Latinos, aged 16-25, found something new, and something old. Did you know, for example that young Latinos comprise 18% of all young people in the U.S.? And 42% of all youth in Califas? Orale, I mean wow. How will this affect the future culture, economy and politics of Californa and the U.S.? Qien sabe. More salsa maybe?
1/3 of young Latinos are immigrants, but the other 2/3 are born in the U.S. Many are children of parents who immigrated into the country since 1965. In contrast, lots of my amigos are U.S. born of parents who immigrated in the early 1900's, during and after the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). Some of us still speak Spanish, imagine that.
One quarter of these "mocosos" will have (you guessed it) at least one more "mocosito" by age 19, more than Whites, Asians or Blacks. I just love kids, don't you?
More interesting findings are that 17% of these young Latinos will drop out of school, almost double the the rates of Blacks, while those Pochos born in the U.S will be less likely to drop out of high school. 23% will live in poverty, higher than Whites but lower than Blacks. But in the long run 2nd generation Latinos will gain more education.
I loved school. High school was a blast. My predecessors in the 40's and 50's dropped out of high school to get married or get a job. Some to help support the family. College for us was unheard of. Like Frank Zappa puts it from Ruben & The Jets, "I dropped out of high school to work on my car."
U.S. borns will be less likely to work in construction, food preparation or other low-skilled jobs, more proficient in "speeki di Inglich" and less likely to live in poverty. I always liked my buenas garras, tu sabes. When in America do as the Americans do, buy, buy, buy, and charge it on your Visa. In my day we had "layaway".
These will have less gang ties and less likely to visit the can, the Pinta or prison.
More than 50% will identify first with their family's native country, "puro Mexicano y que?" In contrast, 33 % of those born in the U.S. believe they are "Americans first"; ride on Joe, Sara, Sean and Briana! 41% will identify themselves by their parents' native land.
So, what does all of this mean? Don't ask me. All I know is that the Browning of America is at hand, and we'd better brush up on our manners, Spanish, and stock up on Chipotle and Guacamole, and "cheeps."