Study: All Immigration Is A Net Benefit For Indiana

A Ball State University study claims immigrants are net contributors, not detractors, from the nation and state’s social welfare and public assistance programs.

(Muncie, Ind.) - A study claims immigrants are having a positive impact on Indiana, especially in rural communities.

The study from the Indiana Communities Institute and Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University found that 25 percent of the population growth in Indiana between 2000 and 2015 was due to increasing immigration.

In recent years, almost 32 percent of Indiana immigrants have come from Mexico, about 9 percent from India, and 8 percent from China.

Study co-author Emily Wornell, a research assistant professor with the Indiana Communities Institute, says Indiana has become a “new immigrant destination” with a large increase in its immigrant population since 1990.

“Immigration in Indiana is fiscally, educationally, and demographically important, and likely marks an environment of increasing economic opportunity,” Wornell said. “Overall, we find that immigration, regardless of authorization status, is an important source of fiscal, economic, and demographic health for Indiana’s future.”

Researchers say immigration has stabilized declining population in 19 Indiana counties, which is important for employers and schools in rural areas.

“Immigrants may represent the best chance for population growth in these communities in the foreseeable future. These newcomers will bolster the local job markets, fill up classrooms, and become contributing members to our communities,” said Wornell.

The study bucks fears that immigrants drive down wages and are drags on public services. From 2002 through 2016, the study found no impact on that wages of incumbent workers, while there was only a modest impact on the wages of new hires. Specifically, workers with a high school diploma or less saw modest declines in wages—$48 and $69 per month for less than high school and high school graduates respectively—due to increased competition.

The study also found that better-educated workers actually saw their wages increase. Those with some college education saw wages increase by $278 per month, while those with a bachelor’s degree or higher saw $414 more per month.

Immigrants are better-educated than native Hoosiers, the study claims to a degree. Approximately 24 percent of the native-born population had a college degree in 2016, while 30 percent of the foreign-born population had earned a college degree or higher. More than half of foreign-born degrees were graduate degrees. By contract, less than nine percent of the native population had earned a graduate degree by 2016.

But, immigrants are also concentrated at the lower end of the education spectrum. In 2016, 30 percent of the foreign-born population over age 25 had less than a high school diploma, compared to less than 11 percent of the native Indiana population.

Immigrants are net contributors, not detractors, from the nation and state’s social welfare and public assistance programs. According to the study, not only do immigrants, including unauthorized workers, pay into the public service system through income, payroll, sales, and property taxes, they tend use fewer services than the native-born population, and receive less benefit when they do use services.

Michael Hicks, director of the Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research and co-author of the study, said the analysis makes it clear that immigration into Indiana, including unauthorized immigrants, is a net benefit to the state and should be welcomed in every county and municipality.

“At the same time, we acknowledge that there may be costs to some locations and populations. However, these costs appear to be transient, affecting only starting wages for workers with a high school diploma or less. We find no long term negative impact on wages,” Hicks added.

You can view the full report, “Fiscal, Economic, & Social effects of Immigration in the Hoosier State,” at https://projects.cberdata.org/161/immigration-in-the-hoosier-state.

More from Local News


Events

  • Dillsboro Public Library Photo Contest

    The Dillsboro Public Library has been selected to host a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, "Crossroads: Change in Rural America," which highlights the changing landscape in rural America. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent, yet the vast majority of America’s physical landscape remains rural.

    at Dillsboro Public Library
  • Memorial Day Services

    American Legion Northcutt-Laaker Post 292, Dillsboro will perform Memorial Day Services on Sunday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. at Oakdale Cemetery in Dillsboro. For more information, please contact the Legion Post at (812) 432-9200.

    at Oakdale Cemetery
  • Memorial Day Services

    American Legion Northcutt-Laaker Post 292, Dillsboro will perform Memorial Day Services on Sunday, May 26 at 3:00 p.m. at St. John Cemetery in Farmers Retreat. For more information, please contact the Legion Post at (812) 432-9200.

    at St. John Lutheran Church

2019 Memorial Day Observances In Eagle Country

All gave some, but some gave all.

One Year Later, Tom Biedenharn's Murder Remains Unsolved

Hidden Valley resident Tom Biedenharn was found murdered in his home on Memorial Day 2018.

Local Indiana National Guard Members Will Get Send-Off At Indy 500

Some southeastern Indiana soldiers are preparing for deployment to the Middle East.

Thomas More's DeDreu Is An All-American; Finalist For National Awards

DeDreu will go down as one of the greatest softball players in TMU history.

Local Sports Report - May 23

The Rising Sun Lady Shiners won a softball sectional Thursday. East Central, Milan, and Batesville are sending runners to the IHSAA Boys Track & Field State Finals.

Batesville Hires New Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

David Rarick will also serve as an English teach at BHS.

On Air

Your Hometown Radio Station playing
Vince Gill - Feels Like Love

Trace Adkins Arlington 23:48
Mitchell Tenpenny Drunk Me 23:44
Clint Black Like The Rain 23:40
Little Big Town Day Drinking 23:37