Change Indicator

% of children in immigrant families in Hawaii

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Why This Indicator Matters

The number and share of children in immigrant families have increased rapidly since 1990.1 Children of immigrants are more likely to be low-income and experience economic hardship, and more likely to have parents with low educational attainment than native born children. The challenges they face may often be compounded by language barriers, citizenship issues, and discrimination.2
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Definition and Source



Percent of children with at least one parent who is foreign born

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Various Years, Table B05009: AGE AND NATIVITY OF OWN CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS IN FAMILIES AND SUBFAMILIES BY NUMBER AND NATIVITY OF PARENTS - Universe: Own children under 18 years in families and subfamilies.

Technical note:

Please note, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates provide average characteristics aggregated over a 5-year period. The primary advantage of using multiyear estimates is the increased statistical reliability of the data for less populated areas and small population subgroups. However, 5-year estimates are less current than single year estimates (i.e., since they are derived from averages over five calendar years) and should not be compared to single year estimates. The Census Bureau suggests comparing periods that do not overlap, such as comparing 2007-2011 with 2012-2016, which means waiting longer to identify a trend (for more information, read the comparison guidance and Period Estimates in the American Community Survey). However, in areas undergoing fundamental shifts in the size or composition of the population, change may be so substantial that it will be obvious after only a few years. Please see the ACS handbook on Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data for more information. 

Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government and business uses. To learn more about changes to the methodology, view the methodology user note.


1 Hernandez, Donald, Nancy Denton, and Suzanne E. Macartney. 2008. “Children in Immigrant Families: Looking to America’s Future.” Social Policy Report: Giving Child and Youth Development Knowledge Away 22(3). Society for Research in Child Development.  
2 Reardon-Anderson, Jane, Randy Capps, and Michael Fix. 2002. “The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. New Federalism: National Survey of America’s Families Series B (52). The Urban Institute.

% of children in immigrant families.

Last Updated

December 2023