The Economic Value of Citizenship for Immigrants in the United States

The Economic Value of Citizenship for Immigrants in the United States

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Beyond imparting political and social rights, naturalization appears to confer economic gains for immigrants in the United States, with a wage premium of at least 5 percent even after accounting for the fact that naturalized immigrants have higher levels of education, better language skills, and more work experience in the United States than noncitizens. More than 8 million legal immigrants in the United States are eligible to apply for citizenship but have not done so. Naturalization rates in the United States are lower than most other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the report notes.
Citation: Sumption, Madeleine and Sarah Flamm. 2012. The Economic Value of Citizenship for Immigrants in the United States. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.
Program: Democracy