Saturday, August 18, 2012

Profiling immigrants

Using the latest Census Bureau data from 2010 and 2011, the Center for Immigration Studies recently released a comprehensive report profiling the country's foreign-born population and comparing it with her native children. Parse and peruse as much as you're inclined to. Some points of interest I gleaned:

- Immigrants are more willing to work and work harder when they do so than natives do, right? Among those aged 18-65, yes, technically, by a statistical rounding error, with 67.7% of immigrants holding a job and 67.6% of natives doing the same.

The native numbers, of course, are dragged down by the poor performance of native blacks, only 56.6% of whom are employed. The native white figure, at 70.5%, is a few points better than the immigrant number is.

- While we're on the topic of favored demographic groups, where are the egalitarians on the prodigious gender gap in employment rates among immigrants in the US? The following table shows gender gap employment scores for immigrants and natives (non-Hispanic unless otherwise indicated) by race, calculated by taking the percentage of men aged 18-65 who are employed and subtracting from it the percentage of women of the same age range who are employed. The higher the figure, the wider the gender gap in employment:

GroupSex Gap
Immigrants21.1
Native whites6.9
Native Hispanics5.5
Native blacks(4.7)

By pushing for open borders, the contemporary left is indirectly celebrating traditional gender roles. Only in America!

- Of the 24 major occupational categories listed, the legal profession boasts the smallest share of immigrants (7.1%) among its ranks, with community and social services (9.2%) a few spots up. Small surprise that occupations where practitioners face almost no competition from immigrants (and virtually none at all from those of the illegal variety) in their professional lives tend also to be the most fervent boosters of massive unrestricted immigration. While open borders do not increase the competitive pressures practitioners in these occupations face, they do increase the client base needing their services.

There are occupations all for open borders, like agriculture (47.4%), domestic and commercial cleaning (34.0%), and construction (24.4%) that are significantly staffed by immigrants as well, to be sure. But unlike the legal profession, there are distinct hierarchies and not much in the way of upward mobility in these immigrant-intensive fields. They're characterized by white natives running the operations and menial immigrants doing the dirty work for as little money and as compliantly as possible in the name of fattening the bottom line (at least in the short-run).

- Five years ago, using similarly commendable data from the CIS, I came up with what I deemed a "merit index score" for countries constituted by evaluating how well their emigrants fared in the US. Using four measures included in the report, here's an update. The scores are calculated by adding to 93.3 (set to norm native whites at a score of 100) the percentage of each nation's emigrants to the US aged 25-65 who have attained a bachelor's degree or higher and then subtracting from that the percentages from each that are in poverty, use at least one welfare program, and are without medical insurance:

RankCountryMerit index
1.India137.6
2.Great Britain129.6
3.Germany120.5
4.Philippines115.7
5.Canada113.3
6.Japan103.4
xNative white100.0
x.Native Asian98.3
7.China91.1
8.Korea88.0
9.Russia79.6
10.Iran79.3
11.Pakistan71.0
12.Poland67.7
13.Colombia58.6
14.Jamaica49.2
15.Laos48.3
16.Peru35.7
17.Vietnam35.5
xNative black32.1
18.Cuba25.4
x.Native Hispanic21.0
19.Ecuador12.8
20.Haiti8.2
21.Dominican Republic4.5
22.El Salvador(22.2)
23.Honduras(38.9)
24.Guatemala(40.4)
25.Mexico(42.5)

Half a decade ago, Indians were the cream of the crop. They remain so today. The brahmins most Americans come into contact with here are not representative of the country of over 1 billion from whence they come, a country for which the task of obtaining a "representative sample" seems almost insurmountably difficult to complete. They about perform the Chinese in the states, but I'd guess the smart money is on China outperforming India in the 21st century.

Europeans and East Asians fill out the rest of the top spots, with native whites in the middle of that mix. As we move down into the third world, we see that the people poor, backwards countries send end up being poor and backwards in the country they ultimately settle in, as do their descendants. Mexicans, constituting by far the largest immigrant nationality in the US, come in at rock bottom. With one-fifth of Mexico already here, it's a small wonder that the US is increasingly coming to resemble her southern neighbor.

- It's regularly remarked upon by those in the Steveosphere that political opinion makers in the nation's capital have a skewed perspective of contemporary immigration into the US. Besides being steeped in antiquated images of Ellis Island, immigrants living in states surrounding DC fare better than immigrants in the rest of the country do.

The following table ranks the 16 states with the largest foreign-born populations in the country by how impoverished its immigrants are relative to its natives. The index is calculated by taking the share of a state's impoverished population that is foreign-born and dividing it by the percentage of the state's total population that is foreign-born. A score of 100% indicates that immigrants are as likely to be in poverty as natives; a score under 100% indicates immigrants are less impoverished than natives are; and a score over 100% indicates immigrants are more likely to be in poverty than natives are:

StatePoverty
Virginia104.5%
Maryland131.1%
New Jersey132.4%
Georgia132.5%
New York136.3%
Nevada136.7%
Florida138.2%
California139.1%
National151.2%
Massachusetts153.7%
Texas158.8%
Illinois160.6%
North Carolina164.9%
Washington168.2%
Arizona187.4%
Colorado197.5%
Minnesota263.7%

Even in Virginia, immigrants are poorer than natives are. In the US today, importing people is more-or-less synonymous with importing poverty no matter where one travels (with a few notable exceptions like Silicon Valley). That said, distinctions between natives and immigrants are considerably less pronounced in states like Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey than they are in Texas and Arizona.

- There's a certain dignity in a life devoid of material abundance though, isn't there? Perhaps, but that's often an irrelevant question in a country as affluent as the US, where the officially poor have multiple flat screen TVs and iPhones, let alone more food than anyone should eat.

To what extent are we assisting immigrants in obtaining this material abundance? The following table shows the percentages of immigrants, by state, using at least one major welfare program:

StateWelfare
Massachusetts19%
Virginia25%
Nevada31%
Arizona34%
Georgia37%
Florida39%
North Carolina39%
Maryland41%
Washington42%
New York43%
New Jersey44%
Colorado45%
Minnesota45%
National47%
California55%
Illinois55%
Texas58%

Again, Virginia looks great and Maryland's foreign-born do better than those in the country as a whole do.

- Open borders apologists like Russ Roberts and Tyler Cowen don't cross paths with a large swath the socioeconomic spectrum, though. They don't experience poverty firsthand in any capacity, so discerning difference in poverty rates is an exclusively academic exercise for them. They do spend more time with those in the upper echelons than the average layperson does, however. And in these circles, immigrants are overrepresented.

The following table shows an immigrant "eduscore" calculated by taking the percentage of a state's immigrant population that has attained a bachelor's degree or higher and dividing it by the percentage of a state's native population that has done the same. A score of 100% indicates a state's immigrants are exactly as likely to have at least four year degrees as natives are; a score under 100% indicates they are less likely to have done so; and a score of over 100% indicates they are more likely to have done so:

StateEduscore
Virginia111.5%
Maryland102.0%
Minnesota101.1%
Washington98.3%
Florida94.1%
Georgia90.8%
National90.4%
Massachusetts86.2%
Illinois85.5%
New York84.8%
New Jersey82.5%
Nevada78.4%
North Carolina70.5%
California70.2%
Texas69.4%
Arizona63.2%
Colorado57.0%

The predominately Mexican incursion into the Southwest has little in common with immigration into Fairfax County. In Virginia and Maryland, and more saliently still in the district they engulf, foreign-born educational attainment surpasses that of natives. It also does so in Minnesota, though I wonder how much of that is due to degrees in Islamic studies among vibrant newcomers to cities such as Minneapolis. In most of the country, however, immigrants tend to be less educated than natives are.

29 comments:

IHTG said...

Great post.

Olave d'Estienne said...

That's the best hard data I've ever seen showing that the ruling classes lives in bubbles where the immigrants are all engineers and professors. It's actually a surprise to find the data are that clear-cut.

Anonymous said...

That's the best hard data I've ever seen showing that the ruling classes lives in bubbles where the immigrants are all engineers and professors


IIRC, Cowen actually did a blog post in which he bragged about living in a bubble.

Georgia Resident said...

Are Brahmins really that large of a proportion of the Indian population in the US? A lot of the Indians I know are named Patel, which is a merchant caste name, if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

In a sane world, this post would be linked and discussed far and wide.

I know Unz reads this site.

Noah172 said...

Wow, Minnesota, 263%. Somalis and Hmong in a sea of Nordic Lutherans. Could the contrast be more stark? New Guinea tribesmen, perhaps?

Re: Indians in the US

A good fraction of them are Sikhs, who are pretty much the Jews of India. Gov. Haley of SC is of Sikh heritage, for example.

Gov. Jindal of Louisiana, raised Hindu, convert to Catholicism, earned a B+ from NumbersUSA as a US Representative. Not too shabby.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating statistics!
Having grown up in Fairfax County, even then (1970s) half the people in my neighborhood were foreign (mostly European, though, and highly educated) I live in Baltimore now where the government is trying to encourage illegal immigrants to move in. Yes really! But I'm not terribly opposed to such an idea as I really do believe many could be an improvement over certain elements in the local population

DPG said...

Your point about elite (lack of) exposure to poverty is one that can't be belabored enough.

I wish they broke out educational attainment above Bachelor's degrees on a state by state basis. I bet the difference in the DC area would be even more stark. How many of the academicians and think tankers who interact with the George Mason crowd are foreigners with PhDs?

Anonymous said...

Well I' white and a complate loser

wveryine deserves a shiot at the ameficna dream

Anonymous said...

I live in Baltimore now where the government is trying to encourage illegal immigrants to move in. Yes really! But I'm not terribly opposed to such an idea as I really do believe many could be an improvement over certain elements in the local population.


Yes, I've long thought that a lot of the open-borders position is based on anti-black sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've long thought that a lot of the open-borders position is based on anti-black sentiment.

Ethnic cleansing of blacks: a job white Americans won't do.

Anonymous said...

People of Color stick together

the time of the white boy is over

Anonymous said...

@Noah172--

I'm curious why you describe Sikhs as the Jews of India. They do espouse beliefs closer to monotheism than traditional Hindus. However, historically they have been a martial group, and their outcomes in the West have been mixed. In Vancouver, Sikh educational achievement is poor, and the community has a significant gang problem. Indian groups more often compared to Jews are Tamil Brahmins (high IQ) and some types of Gujaratis (merchants).

Audacious Epigone said...

Ethnic cleansing of blacks: a job white Americans won't do.

Ha, it works in a slightly less 'provocative' form as well, "Ethnic cleansing: A job Americans won't do".

Georgia Resident,

It's difficult to find hard data on that in the US. The Brahmin population in India constitutes around 5% of the population. I'd guess they're overrepresented by a factor of 5 or 10 as immigrants to the US, but I really have no idea.

Anonymous said...

I have been to India twice. Everyone wants to get out if they can. The wealthier and more-educated have a better shot at leaving.

Anonymous said...

I have been to India twice. Everyone wants to get out if they can. The wealthier and more-educated have a better shot at leaving.


Wherever they go, they take themselves with them. Any place that has enough of them will be another India.

Anyway, the gov't could come out ahead by offering free sterilization to anyone who shows up for it. They want to leave but think nothing of bringing their own kids into that? Whatever.

Noah172 said...

Ethnic cleansing of blacks: a job white Americans won't do.

Gentrification, anyone?

I'm curious why you describe Sikhs as the Jews of India

I'm no expert on Sikhs. My understanding is that Sikhs: are an ethnoreligion; do not seek converts; historically banned(?) and today still largely discourage exogamy; have well above-average economic/educational/political achievement, both at home (e.g. PM Singh) and in diaspora.

As for the "martial" thing, Old Testament Israelites were pretty warlike; intertestamental and first-century Jews proved to be a real pain in the tuchas for Greek and Roman imperialists (Maccabees, Zealots, Roman-Jewish War AD 66-73, Bar Kokhba Rebellion). The Bolshevik Revolution, and later the Zionist terrorism of Mandatory Palestine, proved how brutal Jews could be when given means and opportunity.

Jews became nebbisches after living for centuries as small minorities in host societies that forbade Jews weapons.

Anonymous said...

Noah172,

From your explication, tt is clearer that you are making a comparison primarily with ancient Jews. Perhaps you should have stated so, because in their modern diaspora, the Sikhs do not seem similar to diaspora Jews.

Jews may have been over-represented among the Bolshevik leader, but a majority of Russian Jews were not Bolsheviks. And there were brutal non-Jewish Bolsheviks as well (e.g. Stalin, Yezhov, Beria). Just little nuances you WN's like to ignore.

Anonymous said...

immigrants are more willing to work and work harder when they do so than natives do, right? Among those aged 18-65, yes, technically, by a statistical rounding error, with 67.7% of immigrants holding a job and 67.6% of natives doing the same.



Of course that number is skewed in favor of immigrants, who do not have the same age profile as the natives. Adjusting for age should knock the immigrant work rate down a bit.

Anonymous said...

host societies that forbade Jews weapons


More Jewish myth-making. Which societies "forbade Jews weapons"?

Peter said...

Indian groups more often compared to Jews are Tamil Brahmins (high IQ) and some types of Gujaratis (merchants).

In some ways the Jains are even more comparable to Jews.

Anonymous said...

"People of Color stick together"

In terms of national politics,where whites are still the overwhelming majority of voters, yes. However, in terms of local politics, which features a lot more "majority-minority" jurisdictions, with no clear majority (white or otherwise), it is more complicated.

At least nominally "white" (Jewish) Rahm Emmanuel got elected mayor of majority-minority Chicago. Adrian Fenty (light-skinned mulatto), who until recently was the mayor of Washington DC, was elected by a coalition made up primarily of whites and non-black minorities. Although this coalition has been temporarily unseated by a black majoritarian reaction, the writing is on the wall for Black Power in DC, as the city becomes more non-black and tires of black governance.

It could be said more accurately that "people of color" stick together as long as whites are in the majority, and a significant proportion of whites (liberals) will vote against the interests of other whites. On the other hand, when it gets real personal and white liberals have their interests threatened, they can be as ethnocentric as white southerners, and can find allies among nonwhites if they must.

M.G. said...

I'm late to the party but just wanted to say outstanding post. If I could wave my magic wand, this would be mandatory reading for all U.S. lawmakers.

rec1man said...

About 20% of US Indians are brahmins, who are 5% of India

About 5% of US Indians are Jains who are 1% of India

The bottom 40% of India, Untouchables, tribals and muslims are almost absent in the USA

Patels and Sikhs are both Landlord castes, mid-ranking

Noah Smith said...

The highest-skilled Indian immigrant groups are Sikhs, Vaishyas, Tamils, and Jains, not Brahmins.

If you're going to be a racist, get it right!

Noah Smith said...

A nebbish is a boring loser.

Whereas most Jews are handsome, popular, and successful with the opposite sex! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've long thought that a lot of the open-borders position is based on anti-black sentiment.

When I lived in Chicago I always thought that this was the unacknowledged source of Mayor Daley II's over-the-top enthusiasm for Mexican illegal immigration. Not that this was ever a fit topic for public discourse.

Anonymous said...

Ethnic cleansing of blacks: a job white Americans won't do.

Of course they used to do it, but now USG/MSM makes a white crime vs. a black orders of magnitude more heinous than an Hispanic crime vs. a black. Zimmerman excited anti-white hysteria because of his surname. When the truth was discovered about his ancestry it was too late to turn back.

Steve Sailer said...

The Washington D.C. area, which is so important to setting the Overton Window, has a lot of middle class blacks, but its pink collar black women retail workers are hilariously surly and inefficient. Coming from Chicago to visit D.C., we'd crack up every time we went to a D.C. drug store or fast food restaurant over JFK's line about D.C. as a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm. D.C. African-Americans are a lot worse than Chicago Africa-Americans at service. So, it's easy to see why white elites in the D.C. area are so hostile toward African-Americans and want to replace them with obsequious immigrants. But, really, a message I want to get through to D.C. elites is that on average across the country African-Americans aren't as bad as they appear to be in D.C.