Immigrant households have higher usage rates of welfare than native households, report finds

Households headed by immigrants have a substantially higher rate of welfare use than native-headed households, according a report released by the Center for Immigration Studies this week.

The report examined census data about the use of welfare programs – cash assistance, food assistance, housing assistance, and Medicaid – and compared usage by immigrant headed households with at least one child – those headed both by legal and illegal immigrants – with usage by native headed households with at least one child. 57 percent of immigrant headed households participate in at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent of native headed households. Immigrant usage of food assistance programs and Medicaid are particularly higher – whereas for cash assistance and housing assistance programs, usage rates by immigrant and native households are virtually identical.

Immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador have the highest rates of usage of welfare programs, while immigrants from the United Kingdom have the lowest, along with immigrants from India, Canada and Korea.

A major indicator of welfare use, according to the report, is education. 80.4 percent of households headed by an immigrant whose education does not exceed high school are enrolled in at least one welfare program. The number is similarly high for households headed by a native with that level of education – 76.3 percent of those households use some kind of welfare program.

The magnitude is different, however. According to the report, 31.9 percent of immigrant households with children are headed by someone who did not finish high school, compared to just 8.9 percent of native headed households – which contributes to the high rate of welfare use among immigrant headed households.

This does not entirely explain higher levels of immigrant welfare use. Comparing immigrant and native households headed by someone with more education shows that at those levels of education, welfare use is still higher by immigrant households.

As the report points out several times, the high rates of welfare usage by immigrant headed households “are not the result of less-educated legal immigrants’ unwillingness to work.” In fact, in 2009, 95.1 percent of immigrant headed households had at least one worker. Rather, more use welfare because less education usually leads to lower income, and the welfare system in the United States is specifically set up to help low income families with children.

  • Pingback: When Less Is More (Intelligence Squared Debate) | American-Rattlesnake

  • Pingback: Count Me Among the Rankeld | RedState


    Don’t worry – 2012 is coming and when we get that ‘BUFFOON’ out of the w/house there are going to be some BIG changes coming in 2013… We are going to secure OUR borders and get ALL these ILLEGAL ALIENS off OUR benefits system – and booted out of OUR country!! NO more BS!!! ALL you illegals can go back to Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic!! Case closed!!

  • snappercat

    There’s a shocker for you – people from Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic have the highest rate of welfare usage.

  • odsportster

    I think the easiest short term budget solution would be to put a legal resident requirement to all public benefits. And anchor babies should not count. If both parents are illegal the family should be cut off of all public programs.

  • Kari Ju

    I oppose all further attempts by the left to leverage illegals in this country in order to distort our domestic politics. The sign in the picture that accompanies this article only hardens my resolve. How dare they break into my home, take my money at the point of a government gun, and then claim the moral high ground and right to tell us how to spend our money? Screw all of them.

  • truebearing

    Taxpayers are working their asses off, if they even have a job, to support law breakers who are here illegally, and only as long as things are better here than in the countries they left. This is a form of taxation without representation.

    If we banned welfare from going to criminals from foreign lands, many would leave voluntarily, and that is exactly what must be done immediately.

    • ladylove


      like I said on page 1,

      while all social security, and disability receipients have gone 2 years already with absolutely no cost of living increases, despite high spikes in the cost of living, especially in gas and home fuels.

      and if we do receive an increase, if any this year, it has already been told by the Obama administration that it will barely cover the expected increase they are going to levy us on our medicare monthly premiums, so therefore they will give it to us, then just take it back, all in one foul swoop.

      and we all paid into the system.

      but then they did think of giving us one of their whopping $250.00 one time pay outs, but they already decided against it, as well.

      all the while welfare receipients get raises, in both cash and food stamps. every year.

      • truebearing

        Obama and his Manipulator/Master, George Soros, are transnationalists and are encouraging open borders because they know uneducated people are more likely to fall for their Progressive propaganda. It is an intentional dereliction of duty on the part of Obama, and part of a leftist scheme to overthrow our government. They figure that if the get enough illegals voting, they will have a permanent super majority. If that happens, it’s bye-bye to prosperity, property rights, national soverignty, meaningful elections, and any kind of freedom.

        Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the left? I know it’s hard to tell from my comments.

  • I_Walk_Alone


  • fourleafclover

    “Immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador have the highest rates of usage of welfare programs, while immigrants from the United Kingdom have the lowest, along with immigrants from India, Canada and Korea”

    I didn’t realize how much of a drag on society latinos are. If they are illegal and are using free services, have a job and not paying taxes I think it’s time to fly them to the southern tip of Chile and let them out, preferably away from bus stations, airports or trains. It might keep them out of here if they knew they had to walk a few thousand miles to get back. Is it any wonder we’re $15 trillion in debt? Entitlement programs to illegals who haven’t contributed to society have to come to an end now.

    • ladylove

      meanwhile all social security, and disability receipients have already gone 2 years with out a raise, of any kind, and it appears we are headed for a third, with such a small raise if we even get one, that it will barely cover the cost of the increase we are expected to pay on our monthly medicare premiums.

      and we paid into social security, it is not like we are asking for handouts.

      • ladylove

        while all these illegals get automatic cost of living increases.