A U.S. study says illegal immigrants are having a growing number of children in the United States and are almost twice as likely as average to raise them in poverty.
The study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center says there are 11.9 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, about 76 percent of them Hispanic.
The survey found that a growing number of children of unauthorized immigrant parents -73 percent - were born in the United States and are U.S. citizens.
The study found one-third of children born to unauthorized immigrants live in poverty, nearly double the poverty rate for children of U.S.-born parents (18 percent).
The study found that illegal immigrants are now more broadly spread around the country, settling in states where relatively few had lived two decades ago, such as Georgia, North Carolina and other southeastern states.
The survey says that while the number of illegal immigrants surged from 1990 to 2006, it has since stabilized.
The research found that of illegal immigrants living in the United States, 59 percent are from Mexico, 11 percent from Central America, and seven percent from South America. It says 11 percent of undocumented residents are from Asia, four percent from the Caribbean and less than two percent from the Middle East.
The Pew Hispanic Center is a non-partisan research organization that tracks the Latino population in the United States and its impact on the country.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.