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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

Social Integration of Older Immigrants in 21st Century America

Janet M. Wilmoth

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 29

September 2004

Janet M. Wilmoth

Janet M. Wilmoth


Abstract

There are various reasons for the burgeoning interest in detailed research into the determinants of social well-being among older immigrants in this country. As a result of shifting federal government policies, the total volume of immigrants has increased significantly, the countries from which they migrate have changed, and more immigrant families have brought their parents into the United States than ever before. Consequently, the older adult population is becoming more diverse due in part to the aging-in-place of younger immigrants and an increasing number of immigrants who are older upon arrival in the United States. These trends create challenges for social service providers, who are encountering language and cultural differences among their clients for which they are unprepared.

This report provides an overview of research about older adult immigrants in the United States that the author and her colleagues have conducted over the past few years. Various demographic and cultural aspects of today's immigrants that differ from the past are described. The importance of social integration to older immigrants' well-being is considered. Then some intriguing research about the "new immigrants" is summarized and additional areas for future research are suggested.

The Center for Policy Research Policy Brief series is a collection of essays on current public policy issues in aging; urban and regional studies; education finance and accountability; public finance; social welfare, poverty, and income security; and related research done by or on behalf of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.


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