Summary of Ten Economic Facts About Immigration

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The current debate about immigration policy in the US is heated, but much widespread belief about immigrants is fallacious. Economists Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney help frame the discussion within a more objective context. Their presentation belies many false assumptions. getAbstract considers their report a useful tool for sorting out the complex issues surrounding this contentious public dispute.

About the Authors

Michael Greenstone is a professor of environmental economics at MIT. Adam Looney is a senior fellow in economic studies and policy director of the Hamilton Project.



“Ten economic facts about immigration” help frame the heated issue within an objective economic context:

  1. Today’s immigrants originate from more varied backgrounds than a hundred years ago. Previously, most immigrants were Europeans and Canadians. Today, 31% of migrants are Mexican, 28% are Asian and 15% are Latin American and Caribbean.
  2. “Immigrants are both better and worse educated than US-born citizens.” They offer a wide range of expertise and education. Although 30% of immigrants have no high school diploma, more than 10% have college degrees, and almost 2% have doctorates.

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