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Native Born Americans Have Higher Poverty Rates Than Naturalized Citizens

David Callahan

As we continue to mine the new poverty statistics over here from the Census Bureau, here is a statistics that many people will find surprising: The poverty rate for naturalized U.S. citizens is 10.8 percent, while that for native born Americans is 13.7 percent. (The figure for foreign born residents is a very high 25.1 percent.)

In other words, immigrants who've been here long enough to get citizenship seem to be doing better than people who were born in the United States.

A couple of obvious possible explanations here, including that immigrants tend to be a self-selecting group that work harder and focus more on economic success than Americans in general. Also, those who are naturalized may have come here with financial assets to begin with (which helps explain why they are naturalized).