Monday, June 18, 2012

Immigration and median incomes

Here's a DHS report of the number of U.S. naturalizations in 2011. I've listed below the top twenty sending countries. Next to the country, I show the median personal income for people born in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 64 whose family came from the respective country (ACS data) . The overall median American income is $45,149.

Median personal income
1. Mexico 29,076
2. India 50,000
3. Philippines 39,460
4. China 51,921
5. Colombia 38,422
6. Cuba 40,000
7. Vietnam 39,910
8. Dominican Republic 30,000
9. Jamaica 30,969
10. Haiti 32,036
11. El Salvador 30,000
12. S. Korea 41,701
13. Pakistan 41,537
14. Peru 38,000
15. Brazil 39,460
16. Nigeria 34,300
17. Canada 37,376
18. Iran 41,537
19. United Kingdom 45,559
20. Poland 41,537

People from Mexico dwarf all other countries in numbers of 2011 U.S. naturalized citizens (95,000 Mexicans vs. 46,000 Indians--the next largest group) but the median income of Mexican-Americans is only a fraction of the average. It is the poorest group on the list, even lower than black groups. But the news is worse than that. Of the 20 countries listed, only Asian Indians, Chinese, and those whose families came from the UK earn above-average incomes. Americans with ancestors from the other 17 countries are below-average. And Dominicans, Jamaicans, Haitians, Salvadorans, and Nigerians are really low. Immigration from these countries is leading to more low-income Americans. And I'm focusing on native-born Americans, not their immigrant parents. (The reality is probably a little better since the average age of the native-born of many of these groups is lower than the overall American average, and income, of course, is related to age.)

The only bright spot is that two of the large immigration groups--Indians and Chinese--earn a lot of money.

Back to the bad news: not only do the poor groups tend to vote Democrat, their better off members do too, and even wealthy immigrant groups like Indian and Chinese Americans lean Left.

14 comments:

Jprezy87 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jprezy87 said...

Hmm...sounds about right..with the exception of Nigerians..aren't Nigerian Americans the creme de la creme of their home country? Their guap making skills should be right up there with the Chinese and Indians...kind of a shocker there..

DR said...

Arguing against immigration by saying that the children of immigrants are poor is a non-sequitur. Otherwise these people would have been far poorer in their home country. Being a low-income American is still FAR superior to being a high income Mexican, Dominican or Nigerian.

It's like saying a hospital shouldn't admit people with heart attacks, because people with heart attacks tend to die at high rates, and the hospital's goal is to prevent death.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Canadian immigrants don't do better (something like 80% of the American average). Only the lowest scum and ne'er-do-wells would ever abandon Canada for the States, but even so...

pat said...

I'm not real sure what this analysis means.

My doctor is Korean. At his medical station in Kaiser Oakland there are about fifteen doctors all of whom have oriental names. No Jews, which is a little surprising. BTW in the lobby there are no pictures of all these oriental doctors but there are a lot of black faces from various technicians and nurses. Since the patient pool is about half black, I suppose this makes sense.

I'm also aware that South Korea has the highest IQ of any nation ( Japan is second).

South Korea also produces cars that sell internationally. This is an accomplishment that has alluded Russia, all of Latin America and Eastern Europe. Britain itself is slipping. Jaguar, Rolls and Bentley are now all made in Germany (I think). In any case Korea has a growing car industry while almost every other nation doesn't.

Yet in the analysis Pakistan is tied with Korea. Pakistan produces no cars, doctors, or high IQ people. What gives?

Albertosaurus

pconroy said...

I was under the impression that residents of the UK usually emigrate to Canada or Australia/NZ?

Whereas the Irish still come to the US, but also Australia/NZ.

So do you have a breakdown for the UK figures?

DR said...

@pat

I suspect that the more entrepreneurial groups, of which Koreans may be the most, are understated. A lot of Koreans own convenience stores or restaurants make a lot in cash, which they many not be reporting to avoid tax and regulatory headaches..

Anonymous said...

Those numbers sound a little low......

Ron Guhname said...

Keep in mind that it is personal, not household income.

DR said...

Another consideration is that the children of recent immigrants are going to be younger than those born to natives.

For most people (especially the educated) earning power peaks in the mid-50s. So if you're comparing the median income where the median age is 30 to another group where the median age is 45 the comparison will be misleading.

Jprezy87 said...

" Keep in mind that it is personal, not household income."

Pretty sure those two things are well correlated..people tend to marry (the household income category mostly includes married people as well families and cohab couples) within their class..that means people with similiar incomes, IQs, education, careers, etc..most marriages aren't trophy wife cases :).

Jprezy87 said...

"Another consideration is that the children of recent immigrants are going to be younger than those born to natives.

For most people (especially the educated) earning power peaks in the mid-50s. So if you're comparing the median income where the median age is 30 to another group where the median age is 45 the comparison will be misleading"

Good point...

Kaz said...

@Pat
You're selling American Pakistanis way too short.

Anonymous said...

"Arguing against immigration by saying that the children of immigrants are poor is a non-sequitur. Otherwise these people would have been far poorer in their home country. Being a low-income American is still FAR superior to being a high income Mexican, Dominican or Nigerian."

You're making the bizarre assumption that US immigration policy should be based on the best interest of the immigrant, not the interests of the US.