According to 2010 U.S. Census projections released this week, Hispanics under the age of 20 make up between 21.8 percent and 25 percent of the total youth population in the U.S.—a significant increase over the 17 percent calculations derived from the 2000 U.S. Census. The 2010 figures are based on birth, death, Medicare registrations, and new immigrant population statistics as of April 1, 2010, and highlight the demographic impact of the largest minority group in the country. Without the growth in the Hispanic-youth segment, the non-Hispanic youth population would have shown a decline of between 1.25 and 2.9 million.
The announcement comes on the heels of the DREAM Act, which could come up for a vote in both chambers of Congress later today. The “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors,” or DREAM Act, would create a conditional pathway to legal residency for thousands of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show that passing this bill would bring between 300,000 to 500,000 of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and potentially boost military recruitment and give employers access to a larger pool of motivated young workers.
Similar legislation failed to pass in 2007.