Educational Achievement Among Children of Latin American Immigrants in Spain

Jaime Fierro*, Sonia Parella Rubio, Berta Güell, Alisa Petroff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The ability of societies to increase social cohesion in the presence of large migratory flows depends on their capacity to promote the long-term integration of immigrants through education. While most studies agree that family socioeconomic background is the crucial factor influencing the educational achievement of immigrants’ children, the existing evidence is still insufficient to rule out the impact of national origin. The statistical analysis of the last two waves of the Longitudinal Study of the Second Generation in Spain (ILSEG in its Spanish acronym) reveals that—as might be predicted by segmented assimilation theory—national origin is also an important factor. First, the children of Latin American immigrants are likely to attain lower levels of educational achievement than the children of Spanish natives. But second, such levels vary between immigrant groups: academic achievement patterns differ among the children of Latin American immigrants according to their national origin. This finding is—partially—explained by the severe impact of the 2008 economic crisis on immigrant groups and the differentiated capacity of co-ethnic communities to mitigate its effects. Finally, in terms of policy implications, educational policies must take account of the intersection between social class and the ethnic characteristics of the immigrant communities to which children belong.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2021


  • Educational achievement
  • Latin America
  • Migration
  • National origin
  • Second generation


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