In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Immigration and Poverty

  • Introduction

Social Work Immigration and Poverty
Tsewang Rigzin, Neeraj Kaushal
  • LAST MODIFIED: 12 January 2021
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0294


Immigration impacts two distinct dimensions of poverty: poverty among immigrants and global poverty. Emigration generally involves moving to better opportunities, and the process lowers poverty among emigrants. Immigration also impacts global poverty through multiple channels including remittances, the proliferation of economic activities, and exchange of ideas between immigrant-sending countries that are generally low income and receiving countries that are often rich. Finally, immigrants improve productivity in the host country through innovation and new economic activities, in turn creating employment and lowering poverty. Immigrants generally have higher poverty when they first arrive in the host country on account of multiple disadvantages they experience, including lack of host-country-specific skills, discrimination on account of their immigration status, and limited access to safety net programs and services that reduce poverty. But their poverty levels decline with increases in the duration of residency in the host country and across generations.

General Overviews

The sections below provide an overview of the intersection of immigration and poverty and related topics at the regional and global levels. These include references from journal articles, book chapters, institutional reports, and books. Five relevant topics organize this bibliography: Immigrants in Poverty, Immigration and the Welfare State, Economic Assimilation of Immigrants, the Role of Immigration in Lowering Global Poverty, and Remittances and Global Poverty,

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