Thursday, December 6, 2018

All (immigrant) kids are always expensive

Another inquiry came in from the media that went something like this:

"I'd like to know the impact on state and local finances of an arrival of a skilled immigrant, as opposed to an immigrant with less than a high school degree."

There is some variation in the costliness of kids to governments according to the parents' education and language skills, but a lot less than there is in the net costliness of adults (i.e., how much they pay in taxes vs. absorb in benefits).  Kids are kids, pretty much.  States and localities have to hire K-12 teachers to take care of them regardless of whether their parents have Ph.D.'s or haven't graduated high school.