The whole world relies on the Bay Area’s tech industry, and news media follow the ups and downs of the businesses and the personalities behind them. Still, there’s one aspect of the industry that does not receive the attention it deserves: The booming of the tech industry has been very good for immigrants.
A new study seems to prove that point.
Researchers from the George W. Bush Institute studied metropolitan areas across the United States, hoping to answer the question “Where do immigrants thrive best?” They then ranked the areas for immigrants in terms of their populations, incomes and opportunities. Topping the list was San Jose, California. The San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley metropolitan area ranked third.
Researchers said foreign-born immigrants make up 39.1% of the population in the San Jose area. This gives the San Jose metropolitan area the second highest percentage of foreign-born residents. Only Miami has more.
Quality of life
These immigrants are doing quite well, according to the study. Researchers said the area showed the highest median income for foreign-born households — more than $136,000 per year.
Researchers said one reason immigrants are doing so well in the area is the tech industry, where some workers earn high salaries. The wealth in this industry also drives up wages for other workers in the area.
However, some researchers noted that the statistics can be somewhat misleading, and can cover up serious problems. Other reports have found that 11% of Latino immigrants in San Jose live in poverty. Housing costs are notoriously high in the area, putting pressure even on those immigrants who earn relatively high salaries.
The George W. Bush Institute study helps illustrate why so many immigrants want to come to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, but it doesn’t show how hard it can be for them to settle here for the long term.
Besides the economic pressures, immigrants face legal hurdles that other Silicon Valley residents don’t have to worry about. It’s important for them to seek out help from attorneys with experience in immigration law.