family members living in the same home. Both legal and illegal immigrant households are included in both the Garvey-Espenshade (1996) and Clune (1996) studies; separate fiscal accounting for the two groups is not possible.

Net Fiscal Burdens in New Jersey: State and Local Budgets

New Jersey ranks fourth among the states in immigration measured by the number of the state's household population whose heads are foreign-born.

Almost half of New Jersey's immigrant population is from Europe or Canada; families from Latin America account for about a third; and families from Asia about a fifth of the state's immigrant population. Compared with native households, immigrant households have more children, earn slightly lower incomes, and use welfare services a bit more often. But there are large variations within the immigrant population. In particular, Asian and Latin American immigrant families have larger families, the Latin American immigrant families have significantly lower incomes, and they use welfare services nearly twice as often as native and other immigrant households.

Garvey and Espenshade (1996) provide the fiscal analysis required to measure the average fiscal balance for immigrant-headed households (TM - EM) and native households (TN - EN) for the state of New Jersey. Estimates of the utilization of local and state government services and taxes and fees paid by native and immigrant-headed households are provided for fiscal year 1989-90. The authors develop their estimates of spending received and revenues paid from individual household data, using the Census Bureau's Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of 145,000 New Jersey households for 1990.25 Previous studies have typically used state-wide averages for local and state spending and assigned the same spending levels to both native and immigrant households. 26 This standard approach allows for differences in program utilization between natives and immigrants (for example, in number of children and welfare eligibility), but it misses potentially important differences in the level of services received once a family qualifies. The Garvey and Espenshade study measures these important differences too.

Each household in the study is assigned to one of five groups by the nativity status of the head of household: native-born households, foreign-born of European/Canadian origin, foreign-born of Asian origin, foreign-born of Caribbean/


The New Jersey study uses the 1990 PUMS data base because of its large sample size for the state. The alternative is to use the more current Current Population Survey data base (used by Clune in his study of California), but it has only a limited number of observations in the smaller states such as New Jersey.


See Rothman and Espenshade (1992), Vernez and McCarthy (1995, 1996), and MaCurdy et al. (1996) for a comprehensive reviews of this literature.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement