Latino Youths Straddle Two Worlds in America

Publication: San Jose Mercury News

Author: Joe Rodriguez

12/11/2009 - Latino youths, the fastest growing group of young people in America, are satisfied with their lives and optimistic about the future, but they're also more likely than most other American youth to drop out of school, live in poverty and become teen parents.

And when it comes to race, culture and national identity, they may challenge America's very image of itself as they grow into adulthood.

A first-of-its-kind, nationwide snapshot of Latino youths ages 16 to 25, released today by the Pew Hispanic Center, comes at a time when 1 in every 4 babies born in the United States is Hispanic. They already make up 18 percent of all Americans in their late teens and early adult years. "If you want to have a clearer understanding of America in the future, you want to know what these young Latinos will be like when they grow into the adult population,'' said Paul Taylor, director of the nonpartisan institute. "Between Two Worlds: How Latino Youths Come of Age in America'' paints a mixed, sometimes head-scratching picture of this wide and varied group. For every upside there seems to be a downside.

Read the full article Latino Youths Straddle Two Worlds in America on the San Jose Mercury News' Web site

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