Cumulative Disadvantage and Income Inequality among Immigrants

Adriana M. Reyes, Pennsylvania State University

Concerns about growing income inequality in the United States have entered the political discourse, as inequality has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. Debates about income inequality seldom incorporate immigrants. My research will examine not only immigrants in terms of overall inequality in the U.S., but inequality among immigrants. I use the SIPP from the year 2010, and an income concept that accounts for household size, underreporting, and asset wealth. I will look at income inequality in total population and see where immigrants fit in and income inequality among immigrants. Immigrants are represented disproportionately in the lowest quintiles of the income distribution, and these immigrants tend to have lower rates of citizenship, English proficiency, and are more likely to be from Latin America than any other region. Inequality among immigrants is higher than in the total U.S. population, with noticeably higher gini coefficients for immigrants beginning at age 25.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 213: Cumulative Inequalities, Life Course, and Aging