Jennifer Van Hook
Experts & Staff
Jennifer Van Hook
Professor of Sociology and Demography, Population Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University
Jennifer Van Hook is Professor of Sociology and Demography and Research Associate of the Population Research Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. She conducts demographic research on the settlement and incorporation patterns of U.S. immigrants, with one strand of her work focusing on estimates of the size and composition of the unauthorized foreign-born population. Her work also focuses on the social, economic, and health assimilation of immigrants and their descendants.
Dr. Van Hook received her PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, and has held positions at the Urban Institute and Bowling Green State University before joining the faculty at Penn State.
After decades of growth, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained largely stable since the 2008–09 recession. The group's demographics are changing, though, with a shrinking number of Mexicans and rising Asian and Central American arrivals. This fact sheet presents a profile of these 11 million individuals, including top origin countries; U.S. destinations; and age, education, job, income, home ownership, English proficiency, and other characteristics.
The Trump administration's plan to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the 2020 Census data used to reapportion 435 congressional seats among the 50 states could misclassify as many as 20 million U.S. citizens, as the result of expected data-matching errors. The effects of this exclusion could be most pronounced in low-income urban and rural communities, reducing their voting power relative to more affluent ones, as this commentary explains.
In a commentary, MPI and Penn State researchers explain why an academic article suggesting the unauthorized population is significantly higher than previously estimated derives from seriously flawed assumptions. The researchers, who peer-reviewed the analysis, find the authors overestimate successful illegal crossings by misapplying data from the 2000s to the 1990s, when crossing patterns were much different.
This report summarizes new data on the health of the children of immigrants, who represent nearly one-fourth of all children in the United States under the age of 18, finding that those with Mexican immigrant parents in particular tend to experience greater childhood health risks than most of their peers.
Repealing birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrants, a step discussed in some circles as a means to reduce illegal immigration, would significantly increase the size of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States, from 11 million today to 16 million by 2050, this brief reveals.
Obesity rates among children have risen dramatically in the United States. As analysis of a nationally representative study shows, children of newly arrived immigrants are particularly vulnerable to this growing health problem. Jennifer Van Hook, Kelly S. Balistreri, and Elizabeth Baker report.
An estimated 10.3 million unauthorized migrants were living in the U.S. in 2004. Jennifer Van Hook, Frank Bean, and Jeff Passell report on who they are, where they live, the work they do, and their levels of education and poverty.