California’s Immigrants Earn Less than U.S.-Born Citizens, Says New Report

That said, immigrants are earning more than U.S.-born citizens in five states, three of which voted for Trump.

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA. (Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

“They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us,” Donald Trump said in July 2015 about Mexican immigrants.

But a new report based on U.S. Census Bureau data shows that in California, immigrants are still earning an average of $15,000 a year less than their U.S. born counterparts. 

The study, which was conducted by Nerdwallet, examined a 2015 American Community Survey and learned that in 45 states around the nation, the median annual income of households led by a U.S.-born person was higher than that of households led by those born in other countries. 

In California, that income difference is one of the highest in the nation: those born in the U.S. earn an average of $70,104, whereas those who were born in other countries only earn $55,039. 

Wyoming saw the biggest gap: In 2015 the median annual income of households headed by an immigrant was $40,14, $19,544 less than that of households in the state headed by a U.S.-born person ($59,689).

There were five states where this theme was reversed: Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, Delaware and Michigan all have an immigrant population that earns a higher average yearly wage than citizens born in the U.S. Three of those states—West Virginia, Mississippi and Michigan—all voted for Trump in 2016. 

A full list of income discrepancies between the two populations, broken down on a state-by-state basis, can be found here:


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