The Foreign Born and Their Effects on the Median Family Income in New York City Community Districts

Client: Applied Research Capstone
Faculty: Dick Netzer and Judy Polyne
Team: Diana Yadira Salas, Nashla Salas
Year: 2003
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1965 ended four decades of national origins quotas. Millions of immigrants mainly from Latin America and Asia flooded the nation’s “gateway cities” to pursue the American Dream. The effects of immigration have been a topic of policy debate for over a century. The arguments to keep immigrants from landing on our shores are not new. The main argument has been that immigrants have less earning power and drive incomes down. In 2000, roughly 36 percent of New York City residents were foreign born, an increase from 28 percent in the decade prior. During this same period, median family income fell by 6.6 percent. This study seeks to answer what effect the number of immigrants in a given community district has on median family income. Does an increase of the foreign born increase or decrease the median family income by community district?