Graph depicting Immigrants and Median Income
share on facebook
 
share on pinterest
 
share on twitter
 
share on reddit
 
share on tumblr



< Previous Graph Next Graph >


Description: This scatter chart shows the relationship between the percentage of the population of a state that was born outside of the United States and the median income of that state. The orange line shows the trend- it indicates that, on average, more foreign born population correlates with higher median income.

Sources: Census and Census

Data: Excel

Last updated: December 31, 1969

 

Correlation Between Foreign Born Population and Median Income



Discussion: States with the most immigrants- including both documented and undocumented immigrants- have median incomes more than $11,000 higher than the states with the fewest. The correlation is quite strong. For example, immigrants make up less than 10% of the populations of each of the 12 states with the lowest median incomes and less than 5% of 10 of the lowest 12 states while immigrants make up more than 10% of the populations of 7 of the 9 states with the highest median incomes.

It is important to note that this correlation does not prove that having more immigrants causes median income to rise. It is just as plausible that it works the other way around- states with higher median incomes attract more immigrants. That said, the correlation is so strong that leaves no doubt that immigration is associated with, and compatible with, high median income. In reality, it is likely that the correlation is partly the result of immigrants seeking wealthy states to move to, partly the result of immigrants boosting up the economies of the states they move to, and partly the result of booming economies leading employers to seek to hire from a global pool rather than being limited to a local one.

Also, it is interesting to compare this chart with the chart showing the correlation between median income and undocumented immigrant population. Where states with the most undocumented immigrants tend to have a median income that is approximately $5,000 higher than the states with the fewest, states with the most immigrants- including both documented and undocumented immigrants- have median incomes $11,000 higher. That suggests that allowing people to come out of the shadows may increase their positive effect on median income.


See more graphs about: Immigration   Income