The VOTER, April 2006, Volume 78, No. 7


The United Methodist Committee on Relief developed this quiz on fact and fancy about the impact of immigrants on American life. Although these facts are from the 1990s, it is still instructive. See how much you know. Answers are below.

  1. In the last four years, the poorest immigrants arriving in the United States came from
    1. Europe
    2. Asia
    3. Central America
    4. The former Soviet Union
  2. The area of the world that sends to the U.S. the highest percentage of immigrants who are high school graduates is
    1. Europe
    2. Central America
    3. Africa
    4. Asia
  3. The immigrant population that earns the highest median household income in the United States is
    1. Mexican
    2. English
    3. India Indians
    4. African
  4. In 1910, the U.S. population was 15% foreign born. In 1990, the foreign-born percentage of the U.S. population was
    1. 8%
    2. 10%
    3. 18%
    4. 22%
  5. Studies by the Urban Institute show that for every 100 new immigrants what happens to U.S. employment?
    1. Employment decreases by 12 jobs
    2. The number of jobs stays the same
    3. Employment increases by 46 jobs
    4. Impossible to tell how the job market reacts
  6. A recent Los Angeles County study showed that the county spent $2.45 billion in 1991-1992 on schools and other services for resident immigrants. In that same period, resident immigrants of that county
    1. Paid no taxes
    2. Paid $1.7 billion in taxes
    3. Paid $4.3 billion in taxes
    4. Impossible to calculate the amount of taxes they paid
  7. Nationally, immigrants receive about $5 billion annually in welfare benefits. Which of the following statement is approximately true?
    1. Immigrants earn $10 billion and pay $1.3 billion in taxes
    2. Immigrants earn $15 billion and pay $3.1 billion in taxes
    3. Immigrants earn $100 billion and pay $15 billion in taxes
    4. Immigrants earn $240 billion and pay $85 billion in taxes
  8. Increased immigration tends to
    1. Produce higher wages for all immigrants
    2. Produce higher wages for U.S. citizens
    3. Produce lower wages for immigrants
    4. Produce lower wages for U.S. citizens


  1. (d) The former Soviet Union
  2. (c) Africa
  3. (b) English
  4. (a) 8% (in a recent year it was 10%)
  5. (c) Increases by 46 jobs
  6. (c) Paid $4.3 billion in taxes
  7. (d) Immigrants earn $240 billion and pay $85 billion in taxes
  8. (c) Produce lower wages for immigrants.