immigrants have more children), for transfers to households (because immigrants are poorer), and for other state expenditures (because immigrant families are larger), and lower taxes collected from immigrant families (because immigrant families are on average poorer). On average, these spending and revenue differences between native and immigrant-headed families are relatively small, however. Two immigrant groups—families from Latin America and "other" (Africa and Oceania)—account for almost all of the immigrant group's negative fiscal balance. Asians and families from Europe/Canada (actually net contributors) impose no significant fiscal burden on native residents at the state level.
Combining the state and local public-sectors, native households in New Jersey bear a total net fiscal burden of $232 per native household from the fact that the average immigrant-headed household receives $1,484 per immigrant household more in state and local services than it contributes in state and local taxes (see Table 6.2). There is wide variation across immigrant households as to the total state and local burdens they impose. Immigrants from Latin America are the biggest group contributor to the burden on native households. In contrast, families originating from Europe/Canada actually help native New Jersey households cover the estimated local and state fiscal shortfalls imposed by the other immigrant families.
California has the most immigrant-headed households of any U.S. state, both absolutely and as a share of the state's population. In contrast to New Jersey, where immigrant families come predominately from Europe and Canada, more than half of California's immigrant families come from Latin America, and an additional 25 percent come from Asia. As in New Jersey, California immigrant families are poorer on average than California's native residents, have larger families, and use welfare services more often. But, as in New Jersey, immigrant households vary widely in these important attributes. Families coming from Latin America have the lowest incomes and the most children and are the most likely to be on public welfare; in California, these families are the biggest immigrant group.
transfer from the state or local treasury. Since the overall state budget must be in balance and (by assumption) state and local business revenues are fully allocated to pay for state and local business services, the overall household sector (column "all") must have an average fiscal balance = 0; see text.
Source: Calculations based on Garvey and Epenshade (1996: Tables 1, 3, and 5). Garvey and Epenshade's expenditure and revenue estimates for FY 1990 are adjusted upward to reflect December 1996 prices as measured by the CPI-U index.