Study Shows Middle Class Incomes Crushed by Immigration

A new Congressional Research Service study shows middle class wages have dropped below 1970’s levels as immigration levels rose.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report studied immigration and middle class income from 1945-2013 and found that as immigration slowed between 1945 and 1970, American incomes increased.

But when immigration expanded, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of Americans went flat and then dropped beginning in 2000.

In the report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the CRS reported that the foreign-born population of the United States surged 324.5 percent, from 9,740,000 to 41,348,066, from 1970 to 2013.

And as that happened, incomes of the bottom 90 percent dropped 7.9 percent in 2013 dollars, from an average of $33,621 to $30,980.

The mass immigration effect is pronounced when the data is split up into pre and post-1970 eras.  1970 represents a beginning of the current era of open immigration policy.


2. From 1945-1970, how did overall wages change for the bottom 90% of earners?


Answer – The reported income of the bottom 90% of tax filers in the United States increased from an average of $18,418 in 1945 to $33,621 in 1970 for an aggregate change of $15,202 or a percent increase of 82.5% over this 25 year period.


3. From 1945-1970, what was the net change in the share of income held by the bottom 90% of the U.S. income distribution?


Answer – The share of income held by the bottom 90% of the U.S. income distribution increased from 67.4% in 1945 to 68.5% in 1970, an absolute increase of 1.1 percentage points over this 25 year period.

With all the attention the mainstream media pays to questions of income inequality, you would think this study would make a huge splash.  Yet, it’s unlikely they will feature these findings. It should also raise questions about efforts to increase H1-B high tech visa numbers and what that would mean for American IT workers.