Household Structure, Migration Communities and Child Poverty: An Investigation of Poverty among the Children of Mexican Migrants

Mark A. Leach, Pennsylvania State University

The children of Mexican immigrants to the United States both experience higher rates of poverty and reside in extended-household living arrangements to a greater degree than other ethnic groups. I use 2000 Census data to investigate the nature of the relationship between various kinds of living arrangements and poverty among such children and their families. Viewing extended-households as a form of social support that results primarily from processes of network migration, I expect that different kinds of extended living arrangements offer varying degrees of economic support to household members. Furthermore, I expect that the nature of the relationship varies across destination regions given much diversity in both economic activities and development of migration networks in the places that Mexican immigrants settle. My findings are largely consistent with my expectations that children who reside in households indicative of less settled migration networks, all else equal, experience higher rates of poverty.

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Presented in Session 134: Latino Family Structure and Economic Well-Being