Indians form the second largest group of immigrants in the state of Indiana. A new study claims that immigration has benefited the state economically and demographically.
The Midwestern state of Indiana, also known as the Crossroads of America, because of the several interstate highways that crisscross it, had traditionally not been one of the most popular immigration destinations in America.
But in the past few years, that has been changing. Indiana’s immigrant population has seen a dramatic increase over the past two decades, with Indians making the second largest group of immigrants to the state after Mexicans.
In an increasingly polarizing political atmosphere, where immigration is often seen as a threat to local job seekers and a strain on social services, a new study conducted statewide goes on to prove a very positive picture of immigration.
The study by the Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research in Muncie reveals that immigration has overall benefitted the state in all social and economic spheres.
The research noted that the influx of immigrants, particularly in the past two decades, has been beneficial in minimizing Indiana’s persistent population loss.
The state saw a 25 percent population growth between 2000-2015 due to immigration.
A reason that anti-immigrant groups always cite for reducing immigration is that be immigrants are not able to assimilate with the locals.
However, the research reveals that this may not be true in the state.
In terms of education, second-generation immigrants were found to be finishing their grades at a higher rate than their native counterparts.
The second-generation immigrants were also found to be better behaved in schools; they completed their homework on time and got better grades. The study found that overall immigrants may be better educated than the native born.
While 24 percent of the native population had a college degree in 2016, 30 percent of the foreign born had a college degree or a higher qualification.
The report underlined that immigration in Indiana has been fiscally, educationally and demographically beneficial.
Another factor anti-immigrant groups often cite is that immigrants drive down wages and put a strain on public services.
The report found that between 2002 to 2016 there was no established impact on the wages of incumbent workers. The study instead found that better educated workers were , in fact, able to see an increase in their wages. Those with college degrees saw wages increase by $278 per month and those with higher qualification actually saw their wages increase by $414 per month.
The study also found that immigration does not inhibit the native growth opportunities but goes on to add to the economy. The study, though limited to Indiana, does however point to the larger picture of immigration across America and how it may have been misconstrued in recent times.