Data Sets



The longitudinal study of the second Generation (ISLEG in its Spanish initials) represents the first attempt to conduct a large-scale study of the adaptation of children of immigrants to Spanish society over time. To that end, a large and statistically representative sample of children born to foreign parents in Spain or those brought at an early age to the country was identified and interviewed in metropolitan Madrid and Barcelona. In total, almost 7,000 children of immigrants attending basic secondary school in close to 200 educational centers in both cities took part in the study.

The original survey was conducted in 2007-08; four years later, the same sample was traced and re-interviewed either at school, via telephone, or through contact in the social media (Facebook and Tuenti). Through these means, the research team was able to identify and re-interview 73 percent of the original sample for which retrieval information was available. An additional replacement sample of over 1,500 second generation youths of the same average age as the original respondents was interviewed in the same schools in which the original study took place. Finally, and for comparative purposes, a sample of native-parentage Spanish youths was interviewed at the same time.

In total, over 7,000 cases were included in the second phase of the study, representing the largest available longitudinal data set on the second generation, not only in Spain but in all of Western Europe. The surveys cover all relevant aspects of adaptation and psycho-social development in late adolescence, including educational achievement and aspirations; labor market participation, occupation, and income; family structure and inter-generational relations; language knowledge, preferences, and use; friends’ national origins and educational plans; national self-identification, self-esteem, and other psychological outcomes.

To supplement the information from immigrant children, the study also conducted a person-to-person survey of 25 percent of their parents.   They were interviewed in Spanish or in their native language.  The parental survey is representative of the earlier studies sample, including near identical proportions of all foreign nationalities present in the latter.  Results of the study have been published in several academic articles in English and Spanish, numerous press articles, and a forthcoming book. 


Principal Investigator

Alejandro Portes Princeton University and University of Miami
Co-principal Investigator Rosa Aparicio Ortega y Gasset University Institute of Madrid
Associate Investigators Adrienne Celaya University of Miami
  Rene Flores Princeton University
  William Haller Clemson University
  Aaron Puhrmann University of Miami
  Jessica Yiu Princeton University
Administrative Support Nancy Doolan Princeton University
Clerical and Technical  Assistance Mary Cano University of Miami
  Christine Nanfra Princeton University
Field Supervisors Sileny Cabala  
  Maria Teresa Vidal Climent  
  Yolanda Tomas Ignacio  

ILSEG Publications

Year Authors Title Publisher Volume
2010 Alejandro Portes, Rosa Aparicio, William Haller, and Erik Vickstrom "Moving ahead in Madrid: Aspirations and Expectations in the Spanish Second Generation" INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW 44 (Winter): 767-781
 2011 Alejandro Portes, Erik Vickstrom and Rosa Aparicio "Coming of Age in Spain: Self-identification, Beliefs, and Self-esteem of the Second Generation"   BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY   62:   387-417
2012 Alejandro Portes, Adrienne Celaya, Erik Vickstrom, and Rosa Aparicio "Who are We?  Parental Influences on Self-identities and Self-esteem of Second Generation Youth in Spain" INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY (Spain) 70 (Jan – April):   9-37
2013 Alejandro Portes, Erik Vickstrom, William Haller, and Rosa Aparicio "Dreaming in Spain: Parental Determinants of Immigrant Children’s Ambition" ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 36 (2013): 557-589
  Amado Alarcón and Sonia Parella "Linguistic Integration of the Descendants of Foreign Immigrants in Catalonia" MIGRACIONES INTERNACIONALES 

(Jan – June 2013): 111-140.

  Amado Alarcón, Sonia Parella and Jessica Yiu "Educational and Occupational Ambitions among Spanish Second Generation: the Case of Barcelona"       JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES  
  Jessica Yiu "Calibrated Ambitions: Low Educational Ambition as a Form of Strategic Adaptation among Chinese Youths in Spain" INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW  
  Rene Flores The Increasing Significance of Race in Spain: Discrimination Experiences among Young Immigrants    Winner, Student Paper prize, Section on International Migration, American Sociological Association

Submitted for publication

2014 Rosa Aparicio and Alejandro Portes Crecer en España Forthcoming