ERIC Number: ED427118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
A Fiscal Portrait of the Newest Americans.
Moore, Stephen; Belanger, Maurice, Ed.; Barletta, Alida, Ed.
The fiscal impact the 25 million immigrants now living in the United States have on the country's economy were studied, focusing on the total taxes paid by immigrants each year and whether these taxes cover the costs of public services they use. Census data and other national studies were used to answer these questions. Overall, it is apparent that immigrants and their children bring long-term economic benefits to the United States. The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences has found that immigrants raise the incomes of U.S.-born workers by at least $10 billion each year. The NRC also estimates that the typical immigrant and his or her children pay $80,000 more in taxes than they will receive in federal, state, or local benefits over their lifetimes. Immigrants who become citizens typically pay more in taxes than do native-born Americans. Conservative estimates suggest that immigrant families paid $133 billion in direct taxes to federal, state, and local governments in 1997. The best predictors of immigrant payment of taxes are skills, education, and ability to speak English. Immigrants with lower levels of education and limited English proficiency are more likely to use government services. The age profile of immigrants, who tend to arrive in the prime of their working years, makes them large net contributors to the Social Security and Medicare programs. The value of immigrants should not be measured simply by their fiscal impact. The enrichment of culture and overall vitality they bring to the United States are benefits to all Americans. (Contains 9 tables, 9 figures, and 107 endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Cultural Differences, Economic Impact, Educational Attainment, Immigrants, Immigration, Income, Limited English Speaking, National Surveys, Public Agencies, Public Policy, Taxes, Urban Areas
National Immigration Forum, 220 I Street, NE, Suite 220, Washington, DC 20002-4362; Tel: 202-544-0004; Fax 202-544-1905; Web site: http://immigrationforum.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Inst., Washington, DC.; National Immigration Forum, Washington, DC.
Note: Executive summary and graphs printed on colored paper, may not reproduce well.