First Generation Immigrant
What does First Generation Immigrant mean?
First generation immigrants are defined as the group of residents to North America who were born in a foreign country but came to the United States (refer also to definition for 1.5 generation which are the children of first generation immigrants, although these children were also born abroad they were brought to the U.S. as children and may have a greater degree of assimilation than their parents).
Historically, immigrants to the United States expected the first generation of immigrants to struggle, the second generation to do better, and the third generation to do even better in regards to income, education, personal health, and overall achievement. This assumption has been proven with historical as well as anecdotal evidence.
Recently, however, these trends may be shifting. Experts have made hypothesis but have concluded that success in the educational system seems to be declining from the first to the third generation, although knowledge of English rises sharply. Other disturbing trends include a recent increase in violence, drug abuse, risky sexual behavior and flattened earnings.
What we do know about first generation immigrants is they were willing to leave their native land to move to a foreign land. They may not have done as well economically and socially as the natives but they were determined to give their children opportunities in the United States. First generation parents may also have had linguistic problems, but their willingness to work hard has allowed many of them to eventually prosper.