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12 percent in U.S. foreign born

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday 12 percent of the U.S. population was born elsewhere and 11 percent more have at least one foreign-born parent.

The Census Bureau said 36.7 million U.S. residents were foreign-born and the 33 million more had at least one immigrant parent in 2009. Nearly half of the foreign-born were from Latin America with nearly a third from Mexico, and more than half were non-citizens.

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Second-generation Americans are likely to be better educated than their parents and have higher earnings, census figures showed.

"In 2009, 59 percent of the native-born 25 and older with at least one foreign-born parent had some college education and 33 percent had a bachelor's degree. That compares with 45 percent of the foreign-born who had some college and 29 percent who had a bachelor's degree," census figures said.

Census said 12 percent of second-generation Americans had less than a high school degree compared with 31 percent of the foreign-born population.

"What these data show is that, generally speaking, income and other measures of achievement, such as education, increase between first and second generation," said Elizabeth M. Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau's Foreign-Born Population Branch. "This suggests that the children of immigrants are continuing to assimilate over time as they have in past generations."

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Of those 15 years and older who worked full time and year-round, the second generation Americans had median earnings of $42,297 in 2008 compared with $32,631 for foreign-born workers.

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