Monday, October 10, 2016

Nearly 1/3 of rural non-citizen immigrants are poor

Poverty levels (Carsey graphic)
"Economic stability is out of reach for many rural immigrants, particularly those without U.S. citizenship," says a study by the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy. The study, which used 2010-14 data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, found that the poverty rate among rural non-citizen immigrants is 31.6 percent, compared to 13.7 percent for rural immigrants who are citizens.

Overall, 15.6 percent of rural immigrants are defined as "working poor," meaning they have a job but don’t earn enough to pull their household income above the federally defined poverty level, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. The number for native-born rural residents is 8 percent. Among full-time workers, 13.5 percent of rural immigrants are considered working poor, compared to 6.1 percent of native-born residents.

Researchers found that 39.4 percent of rural non-citizen immigrants have less than a high-school education, compared to 15 percent of the rural native-born population. About 19 percent of immigrants have at least some college and 18 percent a bachelor's degree or higher.

Poverty levels by immigration status
Most immigrants, 79.3 percent, are of working age (18-65). Only 9.1 percent are under 18, and 11.6 percent are 65 or older. A higher percentage of rural immigrants are married than native-born citizens, 60.1 percent to 53.5 percent, and 35.2 percent of rural immigrants have children under 18, compared to 23 percent of native-born residents. Marema notes, "That’s a switch for rural America, which overall has a higher percentage of children and retirees than urban areas do."

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