Skip to content


June 6, 2022

Two economics professors crunch the data on America’s immigrants, and find that one reason for their success, vis-a-vis the native born, is simply that they move to where opportunity is:

What enables the children of immigrants to escape poor circumstances and move up the economic ladder? The answer we hear most often is that immigrants have a better work ethic than the US-born and that immigrant parents put more emphasis on education. We agree that the special features of immigrant families could be part of the story (although it’s hard to tell in our data). Yet when we crunched the numbers we found something surprising: immigrants tend to move to those locations in the U.S. that offer the best opportunities for upward mobility for their kids, whereas the U.S.-born are more rooted in place.

Buerkel-PoststationReading that article, it’s unclear whether they did or could suss out a statistical difference between a) moving to where opportunity lies, and b) moving to an urban center, which happens to aggregate that for many. Regardless. Young adults, at some point in their lives, often are faced with the decision of pursuing an education or a job elsewhere, tearing themselves away from where they were born and raised. The answer is: yes! Go!

And help others along the route.

The painting is “Change of horses at Italian Post Station,” by Heinrich Bürkel.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: