G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Minnesota Public Radio mentions a study conducted by Wilder Research out of St. Paul which found that Minnesota is far behind other states on key indicators of state health: racial gaps in home ownership, minority employment, minority poverty, and graduation rates.
Discussing these metrics in terms of racial gaps indicates that the researchers suspect that some sort of nebulous racism is at play. Or that the gap must be closed from the top (the whites) rather than from the bottom (the non-whites). That’s my interpretation at least. I assume that groups whose research is touted by public radio won’t single out minority groups themselves for being drags on the statistics.
When you think of Minnesota and minorities you might think of Somali immigrants. The state has also had a relatively large increase in percentage terms of Hispanic immigrants. More northern states have experienced shocks in percentage terms simply for geographic reasons. These systemic shocks have to be taken into account when looking at statistics of relative success. Being a historically immigrant-free and a largely white state, immigration to Minnesota is going to be quite different for new arrivals than immigration to Arizona or Texas (for Hispanics) or New York City (for Africans). Culture shock would be expected to naturally contribute to various types of hardships, and this will show up in statistics measuring the State of the State.
In comments at Minnesota Public Radio’s website, the author of the post commented that the author of the Wilder Research study disregarded the impact that black (Somali) and other immigrants might have on these numbers. He reported that the author claimed that black immigrants have higher employment rates than black Americans.
Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji has looked into the economic well-being of Minnesota’s Somalis. He found that they are much less than what they’ve been reported to be. Sanandaji became interested in the topic after observing the immigration into his own country, both of Somalis and immigrants of other ethnicities. He wrote:
I downloaded US Census American Community Survey 2006-2008 (before the crisis), which allows us to directly investigate Somali immigrants in Minnesota.
The average income of the working age adults in Minnesota is $38.000.
The average income of working age Somali immigrants in Minnesota is $13.800, or about one third(!). As a comparison, one third of the average American income is Mexico.
More than half of Somali immigrants in Minnesota are below the poverty line.
Only one half of Somali immigrants in Minnesota work.
Those who work earn $21.000 per year, compared to $46.000 for Minnesotans on average.
The median income of Somalis that work is $12000 per year, or about 9000 Swedish kronor per month (using 9 kronor to a dollar as a PPP-adjusted conversion rate).
The conclusion that this data tells us is that Somali immigration to Minnesota has been a complete disaster from the perspective of Minnesota.