Hispanic children include those children who are born to Hispanic parents in the United States, as well as those individuals who recently immigrated to the United States from Hispanic countries. Within the United States, the majority of Hispanic youth are Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican, with some children and families from the Dominican Republic and from Central and South America. Of those from Central and South America, the countries of origin for the majority are Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru.
As a result of immigration patterns and historical events, Hispanic families live in communities in various cities and states within the United States, primarily in metropolitan areas. Some Hispanics have come to America as a result of extremely poor economic conditions in their countries, as well as civil wars and political strife. With the goal of escaping problems and acquiring a better life, individuals and families have immigrated, both legally and illegally, to the United States. The United States has had a history of opening and closing borders with Latin American countries, and it is this ever-changing relationship that has contributed to some of the difficulties facing Hispanic immigrants, as well as the large presence of Hispanics within the United States.
According to U.S. Census estimates for 2000, Mexicans, who primarily live in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, comprised 65 percent of the Hispanic population in the United States. After Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1917, large groups of Puerto Ricans came from the island to settle, mostly in New York and New Jersey. A large wave of Hispanics from Cuba, who fled the political leadership of Fidel Castro, immigrated to states such as Florida.
Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 4Hispanic Children - Definitions And Terms, Demographic Characteristics, Language, Acculturation And Biculturalism, Education And Schools - Cultural Values