the California budget can be viewed as an upper-bound estimate of the national net annual fiscal impact. Table 6.5, panel B, reports the total (local plus state plus federal) net annual fiscal impact (NAFIN) imposed by each immigrant cohort for both the New Jersey and California specifications of the state and local budgets.46 In fact, except for immigrant households from Latin America, today's current immigrants are net fiscal contributors to the overall fiscal position of native U.S. households, primarily because of their large positive net contributions to the federal treasury to help pay for defense spending. The Latin American immigrant cohort is large, however, and their negative net annual fiscal impact more than offsets the aggregate fiscal contributions paid to natives by Canadians, Europeans, Asians, and other immigrants.

Weighting each cohort's contribution by its share in the national immigrant population provides an estimate of the net annual fiscal impact imposed by a national average immigrant receiving either the New Jersey or the California state and local budgets. The national average immigrant imposes a net annual fiscal impact of -$1,613 per immigrant household when receiving the New Jersey budget and a net fiscal burden of -$2,206 per immigrant household when receiving the California budget. The aggregate NAFIN on native residents for all U.S. immigrants is estimated by multiplying these per-immigrant burdens by the number of immigrant households in the nation as whole. In 1994-95, there were 9,156,000 immigrant-headed households in the United States.47 The aggregate net annual fiscal impact imposed on native households by all immigrant-headed households in the United States is therefore estimated to range from -$14.77 billion (New Jersey budgets) to perhaps as high as -$20.16 billion (California budgets) (see Table 6.5, panel B).

Sharing this aggregate burden over all 89,019,000 native households in the United States in 1994-95 would imply a net annual fiscal impact per native household ranging from -$166 (New Jersey budgets) to perhaps as high as -$226 (California budgets). This is an annual fiscal burden imposed on a typical native U.S. household by the current stock of immigrant-headed households now in the United States. The burden ranges from about four-tenths of 1 percent to half of 1 percent of the average household income of $45,000 in 1996.48

46  

For example, the total average fiscal balance for immigrants from Europe/Canada living in New Jersey is the sum of Table 6.2's estimates of that cohort's local and state net fiscal transfer plus the Table 6.4 estimate of that cohort's federal average fiscal balance adjusted for removing defense spending: -$124 + $250 + [-$2,486 + $2,809] = $449. The total average fiscal balance for immigrants from Europe/Canada living in California is the sum of Table 6.3's estimates of that cohort's local and state net fiscal transfer plus the Table 6.4 estimate of that cohort's federal net fiscal transfers: $548 + $760 + [-$2,486 + $2,809] = $1,631. All other cells in Table 6.5, panel B, are calculated in a similar way.

47  

Estimates calculated from the 1994-95 Current Population Survey.

48  

Average household income is estimated as the average for the most recent year available (= $41,428 in 1993) adjusted for inflation.



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