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Friday, June 28, 2013

Essay on the Assimilation of the Latinos in the United States

INSTRUCTIONS:  One sign of assimilation is no longer using ethnic identifiers. This
is evident insofar as Italians have become Italian Americans or simply
Americans. Pick one ethnic group and discuss the extent to which they
have become assimilated. If they have become assimilated, explain why.
If not, discuss some of the obstacles.

Essay on the Assimilation of Latinos in the United States
            Cultural assimilation is defined by scholars as the process in which an individual beings to adapt and ultimately resemble the culture of another group. Depending on the group or the individual, this process may involve a gradual or instantaneous change. A person however, who assimilates his or herself fully to the new culture becomes an almost indistinguishable member of the society (Kumaravadivelu, 2008, p. 67). 

 The United States, with its rich history of immigration, has become a melting pot of various nationalities and culture. Over the years, a large number of the immigrant population have adapted the country’s language as well as culture. One of which are the Latinos. According to recent statistics, there are over fifty million Latinos in the United States as they consist of 16.5 percent of the entire US population. In addition to this, the Census Bureau suggests that by 2050, the Latino population will increase to 133 million and will make up about 30 percent of the population. For more than three decades, the number of Latinos immigrating in the country continues to increase; and majority of them seem to fully adjust and familiarize itself with the English-speaking culture.  This is evident in their language, socio-economic status, as well as intermarriage (Wall Street Journal, 2013, p.1).

According to a survey, about one-third of Latin immigrants in the United States were able to speak the English language only after a decade of living in this country. The figure continues to increase to three-fourth over the span of ten years. Another study revealed that about 88 percent of Latino children born in the US have excellent English skills. Later generations of Latino adults are similarly proficient in English as about 94% are able to speak the language well. Currently, English regarded as the dominant language of second generation Latinos. In addition to this, it is projected that only one-fourth of the fourth generation population will be able to speak their native tongue fluently. 

The socio-economic progress of Latino immigrants is also evident. Scholars suggest that this is another important criterion of assimilation. According to statistics, Latinos who settled in the United States during the last three decades currently own properties as well as live in upscale neighbourhoods. Apart from this, majority of second generation Latinos belong in a household with a median income of almost $50,000. Scholars suggest that one of the main factors behind the improvement of this group’s socio-economic status is their educational progress. Statistics show that a number of second-generation Latinos are bachelor degree holders (Wall Street Journal, 2013, p.1).

Aside from socio-economic status and language attainment, there is also a high rate of intermarriage in the Latino population in the United States. In fact, interracial unions have hiked to 4.8 million. Numerous scholars suggest that the increase in interracial marriage only indicates that the relation between the two races have significantly improved over the last century (Fox, 2013, p.1). A product of such unions is a growing number of mixed-race children. Correspondingly, both mixed-race children as well as Latino immigrant children are reported to have friends outside of their ethnic group. More significantly, most of these children see themselves as a “typical American” (Wall Street Journal, 2013, p.1).

Based on the points provided, it is evident that a large number of Latinos have already assimilated themselves in the American culture as well as American way of living. Despite of the fears, regarding the surge of immigrants taking over our culture, it still cannot be denied that immigrants such as the Latinos continue to be a valuable asset for the country.

“America;s Assimilating Hispanics”. (2013). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 June 2013,
“Interracial Marriage Hits Record High”. (2012) FOX News. Retrieved 27 June 2013 from
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2008). Cultural Globalization. CT: Yale Press

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