The Longitudinal Study of the Second Generation (ILSEG) 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. 


                                                                                 Name                                                     Affiliation

Principal Investigator:

Alejandro Portes

Princeton University and University of Miami

Co-principal Investigators:

Rosa Aparicio

Ortega y Gasset University Institute of Madrid

  William Haller Clemson University
Associate Investigators: Adrienne Celaya University of Miami
  Rene Flores Princeton University
  Bryan Lagae University of Miami
  Maria Medvedeva Princeton University 
  Aaron Puhrmann University of Miami
  Erik Vickstom Institute of Labor Economics, (IZA) Paris
  Jessica Yiu Princeton University
Administrators: Nancy Doolan Princeton University
  Christine Nanfra Princeton University
Clerical and Technical  Assistance: Mary Cano University of Miami
  Andrea Roca University of Miami
  Maria Briz University of Miami
Field Supervisors: Maria Yolanda Tomas Ignacio Ortega y Gasset Institute, Madrid
  Sileny Cabala  
  Maria Teresa Vidal Climent  
  Assia Fresagna  

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: 767-811
 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


Alejandro Portes and Alejandro Rivas

"The Adaptation of Migrant Children”.


21: 219-246

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  70: 9-37


Alejandro Portes, Erik Vickstrom, William Haller, and Rosa Aparicio

"Dreaming in Spain: Parental Determinants of Immigrant Children’s Ambition".


36: 557-589


Amado Alarcón and Sonia Parella Rubio

"Linguistic Integration of the Descendants of Foreign Immigrants in Catalonia".


7: 101-130

  Jessica Yiu "Calibrated Ambitions: Low Educational Ambition as a Form of Strategic Adaptation among Chinese Youths in Spain". INTERNATION MIGRATION REVIEW 47: 573-611, online version Sept. 17, 2013
  Amado Alarcón, Sonia Parella Rubio and Jessica Yiu "Educational and Occupational Ambitions among Spanish Second Generation: the Case of Barcelona".       JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 40: 1614-1636 (online version, 29 Sept. 2013).
  Rene D. Flores "The Resurgence of Race in Spain: Perceptions of Discrimination Experiences among Immigrants in Spain".    SOCIAL FORCES

94: 237-269

2016 Rosa Aparicio and Alejandro Portes Crecer en España: le Integracion de los Hijos de Inmigrantes. Barcelona: Estudios Sociales de La Caixa, #38.  
  Alejandro Portes, Rosa Aparicio, and William Haller Spanish Legacies: the Coming of Age of the Second Generation. Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press  


Maria Medvedeva and Alejandro Portes

“Immigrant Bilingualism in Spain: An Asset or a Liability”.


51: 632-661


Alejandro Portes, Rosa Aparicio and William Haller

“General Trends and Exceptions in the Incorporation of Youths to Host Societies”.



Maria Medvedeva and Alejandro Portes

“Bilingualism and Self-identity: the Case of Children of Immigrants in Spain”.