Immigrants Play Key Role In Economic Vitality Of Metro Areas

While a new analysis of census data revealed the importance of immigrants to regions and refuted commonly held beliefs, it revealed a clear preference for high-skilled immigrants which in turn is influencing federal legislation.
April 17, 2010, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The commonly held belief is that " the surge in immigration in the last two decades has overwhelmed the United States with low-wage foreign laborers." Actually, the distribution amongst low-skilled and professional workers is evenly divided, and in some metro areas such as St. Louis, predominantly white-collar.

According to a new analysis, "the 25 million immigrants who live in the country's largest metropolitan areas (about two-thirds of all immigrants in the country) are nearly evenly distributed across the job and income spectrum

The survey of 1,600 adults, which examined the reasons for anti-immigration sentiment in the United States, was published in February in American Political Science Review, a peer-reviewed journal."

In fact, "cities with thriving immigrant populations - with high-earning and lower-wage workers - tended to be those that prospered the most.

The analysis suggests, moreover, that the immigrants played a central role in the cycle of the economic growth of cities over the last two decades."

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Published on Friday, April 16, 2010 in The New York Times - U.S.
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