The members of an ethnic group who immigrated to their current country at a young age, particularly before starting school. Also: 1.5G, 1.5er.
They're members of what sociologists call "the 1.5 generation" — children brought to the U.S. at a young age, raised as Americans with little connection to the country where they were born.
—"Pass the Dream Act," Chicago Tribune, September 20, 2010
The "1.5 generation", Chinese-Americans born outside the United States and mainly educated in the country, receive the highest returns on their educational levels of any generation.
—Tan Yingzi, "Younger Chinese-Americans earning less," China Daily, February 14, 2011
Although its members are first, second and third generation Korean Americans, it is the "1.5 generation" that is bridging the gap between the ethnic community and mainstream America.
Born in Korea but educated in America, "the 1.5 generation" speaks to immigrants in Korea, but can also articulate their ideas in English.
—California Journal, Volume 17, Issue 11, California Center for Research and Education in Government, November 1, 1986
Why "1.5"? Because these children are "between" the first and second generation. That is, they're not first-generation because they're foreign-born, but they're not second-generation because their parents are not naturalized citizens. Sociologists actually differentiate between 1.25, 1.5, and 1.75 generation kids, the so-called decimal generations:
Rumbaut, however, cautions against "lumping foreign-born and native-born children as a 'de facto' second generation," arguing that we ought to conceive of these foreign-born youth by relying on decimal generations—ranging from the "1.25 generation" for older youth, the "1.5 generation," and the "1.75 generation" for those children who immigrate at a very young age.
—Ronit Dinovitzer et al., "Choice and circumstance: social capital and planful competence in the attainments of immigrant youth," Canadian Journal of Sociology, September 22, 2003