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September 25, 2015

In his address to the U.S. Congress yesterday, Pope Francis urged the country’s leaders and lawmakers to accept immigrants as if they were their own children, and to welcome people who “travel north in search of a better life.”

It’s a philosophy that New Jersey has long embraced. The state is home to some 1.7 million Hispanics, according to the most recent census, who account for 19.3 percent of the total population.

But how well -- or poorly -- has the Latino population assimilated into New Jersey’s mainstream culture? The unscientific answer is so-so, according to a new report from WalletHub, the personal finance website. The Garden State was ranked 27th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of how well integrated the Hispanic population is. New Jersey did best when it came to civic and cultural assimilation taking the 12th spot. It did poorly for educational assimilation, ranking 41st, and somewhat better for economic assimilation, with a 32.

New York and Pennsylvania were ranked 42 and 46, respectively.

In order to assess assimilation, WalletHub compared all locations across 14 key metrics, including English proficiency, educational attainment, and homeownership.

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