US attractive to younger less educated immigrants. What’s your neighborhood like?

Filed Under (Skills, Story Idea) by on 30-04-2010 and tagged ,

The Gallup folks just released a survey looking at most desired country for immigration and those who immigrate.

And the possibilities for stories using the Gallup numbers, some Census data and a little shoe leather are limitless.

Young, Less Educated Yearn to Migrate to the U.S.

Canada more attractive to older, more educated adults

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fifteen countries attract about 500 million of the roughly 700 million adults worldwide who say they would like to relocate permanently to another country if they could. Gallup finds the U.S. is clearly the No. 1 desired destination among these potential migrants, with more than 165 million saying they would like to move there, and neighboring Canada is a distant second with 45 million.

Rest of report.

There are some interesting numbers in the survey.

The United States is the country of choice for the youngest and less-educated groups interviewed.

So what do those numbers mean?

Here is one explanation from Gallup:

These differences may partly reflect the emphasis each country’s immigration policy places on different categories of migrants. In the U.S., Department of Homeland Security statistics show family-sponsored migrants account for the largest percentage of those who become legal permanent residents each year, followed by workers. The reverse is true in Canada, where government migration statistics show applicants with higher levels of education, job experience, and skills make up the largest portion of legal permanent residents, and those in the family category make up the second-largest portion.

While the U.S. and Canada have long histories as major immigrant-receiving countries, they also differ in how they welcome new migrants and integrate them into their societies economically, politically, socially, and culturally. Canada’s government actively assists migrants when they arrive, including providing free language-training vouchers. The United States on the other hand, according to a 2008 Independent Task Force report on immigration policy, has no national integration policy and provides little support for English-language classes.

SO, the U.S. policy of family reunification naturally would lead to more younger and less educated people showing up. Think about it, mom and/or dad are in the States and eventually get a Green Card. They then send for their children.

Younger and less educated.

But there is more. (There is always more when dealing with surveys and numbers.)

Where the immigrants come from and their choice of country to move to shows something about the immigrants as well. Take a look at age AND home region:

Canada won in the Southeast Asian respondents between ages 15-24 but the U.S. took all the others. After the age of 24, however, Canada wins hands down.

So there is a regional bias for Canada as well.


And as soon as the education level goes to completed secondary level, the U.S. falls behind:

This all has policy implications.

But for journalists, let’s look at something else.

What does your county or town look like?

What immigrant groups are there? What are their education levels? Why did they come to Fairfax or Arlington Counties? Why did they move to Maryland or the District?

For some of the answers you can go to the Census Bureau. (You just had to know I was going to promote that treaduer trove of data.) And for others you will have to <gasp!> go out and talk to people.

Let’s get you started:

Here is a table of Fairfax County.

S0501. Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign-Born Populations

It is data collected by the Census Bureau during the years 2006-2008. It part of the American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates project.

Once you open the table you will notice a few things.

In Fairfax County:

  • 36 percent of the foreign born are white, 42 percent are Asian, 29 percent are Hispanic and 9 percent are black.
  • 49 percent of the foreign born are in a college or graduate program, compared to 32 percent of the native population
  • 20 percent of the foreign born have a graduate or professional degree, compared to 32 percent of the native population
  • 29 percent of the foreign born have an annual income of $75,000 or more, compared to 56 percent of the native population.

Fairfax County is not a typical county. (We all know that.) How atypical is it?

Go look it up yourself.