Earnings of foreign born were 79.9 percent of native born in 2013
May 28, 2014
In 2013, the median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born, full-time wage and salary workers were 79.9 percent of the earnings of their native-born counterparts—compared with 78.4 percent in 2012.
Total, 16 years and over
Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
White non-Hispanic or Latino
Black non-Hispanic or Latino
Asian non-Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Educational attainment (25 years and over)
Less than a high school diploma
High school graduates, no college
Some college or associate degree
Bachelor's degree and higher
Among men, median weekly earnings for the foreign-born men were 74.6 percent of the earnings of their native-born counterparts in 2013. Among women, median earnings for foreign-born women were 84.8 percent of the earnings of their native-born counterparts.
Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Hispanic foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers earned 78.2 percent as much as their native-born counterparts in 2013. For White, Black, and Asian workers, earnings for the foreign born and the native born were relatively close within each group. In 2013, earnings for foreign-born White non-Hispanic full-time wage and salary workers were 110.2 percent of their native-born counterparts, compared with 104.8 percent in 2012.
In 2013, native-born workers age 25 and over earned more than the foreign born at most educational attainment levels. The gap between the earnings of foreign-born and native-born workers closes at higher levels of education. For example, among high school dropouts and graduates in 2013, full-time workers who were foreign born earned 83.8 percent as much as their native-born counterparts. Among those with a bachelor's degree and higher, the earnings of foreign-born workers were essentially the same as the earnings of native-born workers.
These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Foreign-Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics — 2013," news release USDL‑14‑0873 (HTML) (PDF). The foreign born are persons who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The foreign born include legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. Differences in earnings reflect a variety of factors, including variations in the distributions of foreign-born and native-born workers by educational attainment, occupation, industry, and geographic region.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Earnings of foreign born were 79.9 percent of native born in 2013 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140528.htm (visited February 12, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.