Black immigrants earn about $6,000 less than other immigrant groups, even though they have the same share of college graduates
- Black immigrants in the US make about $6,000 less per year than other immigrant racial groups.
- That's despite the fact that Black immigrants have roughly the same number of college graduates.
Black immigrants earn as many bachelor's degrees as any other racial group coming to the United States — but that education doesn't necessarily translate to receiving higher pay, a new study shows.
Black immigrants are earning college degrees at a similar rate to US immigrants overall, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, with the share of immigrants with at least a bachelor's degree at about 31% for Black immigrants and 33% for the pool at large. In fact, the number of Black immigrants who have a bachelor's degree has grown by 10% in the past two decades, the most of any immigrant group over that period.
"When it comes to socioeconomic factors, Black immigrants stand out from the US-born Black population and the overall US immigrant population on some measures, such as household income and educational attainment," the researchers write. But that educational attainment doesn't push their income as far as other groups.
The researchers write that Black immigrants tend to earn more than US-born Black households, the former's median income being $57,200 while the latter's is $42,000. Black immigrants, however, still lag behind other immigrant racial groups, the pooled median being $63,000 for all households.
That shows that the financial promises of a college education go less far for Black people in the US, where college graduates still earn more than workers with no university degree. The racial
Black people in the US are hired less and paid less
The Pew report found that Black immigrants fare worse financially than their non-Black counterparts on a few metrics, namely median income and homeownership.
"The household income distribution… has changed little since 2000 for the overall Black immigrant population," the report says, and "Black immigrant households are less likely than the overall US immigrant household population to own their homes."
The Pew researchers also comment on the low rate that Black immigrant wealth has increased in comparison to other groups — the median household income for Black immigrants increased in the past 20 years, but at a "slower pace" than the overall immigrant population. And that's even though about a third of Black immigrants over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher.
These findings reflect what we know about hiring and pay disparities for people of color in general — that they get paid less for the same work, and often don't get hired in the first place for open roles.
That's especially true for Black men, who have the highest unemployment rate of any gender or race. It's been that way for the past two decades, throughout job market ups and downs, such as the current labor shortage. Experiments on hiring discrimination stretching back to the 1970s show it happens from entry-level positions to jobs requiring a college degree, S. Michael Gaddis, a UCLA sociologist who studies employment discrimination, told Insider.
"Black job-seekers face discrimination even when they have an elite college degree, such as one from Harvard or Stanford," Gaddis said.
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