Tuesday, April 21, 2015
A new Daily Yonder study shows that rural counties with more immigrants tend to be performing better economically. Rural America’s foreign-born residents may be moving to counties that have more jobs, but immigrants also create more economic opportunity when they get there, economists say.
For many rural counties, having more immigrants also goes along with having a better local economy, according to a new study commissioned by the Daily Yonder. “The results of this study contradict common perceptions regarding immigrants,” said Roberto Gallardo, Ph.D., the author of the study “We frequently hear that immigrants are a drain on the economy and resources. But this data shows a very different picture.” Gallardo looked at the percentage of a rural county’s population that was born beyond U.S. borders and correlated that information with some basic economic data. He found that, in general, as the proportion of the immigrant population grows in rural areas, positive economic indicators like per capita market income rise, as well. And negative economic indicators like the rate of poverty and unemployment go down.
Hat tip to Lisa Pruitt.