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Wallace Hall Princeton University   nisopr@princeton.edu      

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KEY FINDINGS OF NIS-PILOT AND NIS-2003-1
  • On average new legal immigrants are as well schooled as native-born citizens; however, the schooling distribution of immigrants has heavy tails, concentrated in both the very highly educated as well those with few years of schooling.

  • In married couples formed by a U.S. citizen sponsoring the immigration of a spouse, spouses have similar levels of education, with the U.S. citizen having a slightly better education. Among marriages in which both spouses immigrate, there is a greater disparity in education levels. Likewise, immigrants sponsored as spouses of U.S. citizens who marry in the United States have higher schooling and lower husband-wife disparity, confirming the American emphasis on higher education and spousal similarity.

  • While as children only slightly less than 10 percent spoke more than one language, by the time of admission to LPR, 72 percent spoke more than one language. Among monolingual children, 12 percent spoke English, and among these children, 22 percent learned another language. Among non-English monolingual children, 73 percent possessed at least some level of English and another 3.5 percent possessed knowledge of another language or languages.

  • Based on the pilot sample, 78 percent of immigrants reported that they use English either at home or outside the home. 48 percent use English both in the home and outside. Those who speak only English either at home or outside the home constituted 34 percent.

  • Christianity constituted approximately two-thirds of the NIS-P immigrants, a number significantly less than the 82% of the native-born surveyed in the General Social Survey of 1996. However, the proportion of Catholics is 42%, almost twice as large as among the native-born (22%). 8% of the new immigrants were Muslim, and 15% report no religion at all (compared with 12% of the native-born).

  • The reduction in the smoking population of immigrants as compared to native-born in the United States was also an area of interest. Within the immigrant population, 25% of men and 7% percent of women smoke, compared to 26% and 21%, respectively, within the native-born population.

  • Home ownership gives one of the best demonstrations of not only economic class, but also intent of residence—a person who owns a home feels assured that he does not run the risk of deportation. In general, adjustees (who modify their status to LPR while living in the US) possessed more than double the home ownership rate of new-arrival immigrants, in all cases except those in which U.S. citizens already owned a home before marrying and sponsoring their immigrant spouse.
 
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