Tags: Immigration | bureau | census

29 Percent of Mexican Immigrants See Themselves as American

Image: 29 Percent of Mexican Immigrants See Themselves as American
(Nick Ut/AP)

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:01 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Recent Pew data show that 29 percent of Mexican immigrants consider themselves to be typical Americans. However, that number jumps to 60 percent for second-generation Mexican immigrants and 71 percent for the third generation.[1]

The same trend is seen in another question asked by the Pew Research Center. When asked to describe themselves, only 3 percent  of Mexican immigrants call themselves American. The vast majority prefer to be called Mexican. However, by the second generation, 35 percent describe themselves first as American while 39 percent still prefer to call themselves Mexican. By the third generation, a plurality describe themselves as American.

This suggests that American society remains a melting pot where new communities are assimilated over time. It also raises doubts about the theory that a growing minority population will lift the Democrats to electoral success. John Judis, a man who helped develop that theory in the 2002 book "The Emerging Democratic Majority," now believes he was wrong.[2]

One key part of that theory was based on the Census Bureau projections that the U.S. would become a minority-majority country by 2044. Writing in the New Republic, Judis states that those projections are "deeply flawed." They assume that "the same percentage of people who currently identify themselves as 'Latino' or 'Asian' will continue to claim those identities in future generations."[2]

However, as Judis points out, "whiteness is not a genetic category, after all; it’s a social and political construct that relies on perception and prejudice. A century ago, Irish, Italians, and Jews were not seen as whites."[2] He believes it is reasonable to assume that Latinos will follow the same path.

In fact, in the 2010 census, just over half of all Latinos identified themselves as "white." So, while the official government agency considers them to be part of a minority population, many do not see themselves that way.

An earlier Number of the Day showed that 17 percent of Americans now marry across racial and ethnic lines.

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.

Footnotes:

  1. Pew Research Center, "How Mexicans in the United States see their identity," May 3, 2013

      2. New Republic, "Redoing the Electoral Math," September 14, 2017

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.

Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Recent data shows that 29 percent of Mexican immigrants consider themselves to be typical Americans. That number jumps to 60 percent for second-generation Mexican immigrants and 71 percent for the third generation.
bureau, census
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2017-01-19
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:01 AM
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