Updated:  

Immigrants to the United States are far more likely to use welfare (programs such as Medicare/Medicaid or food stamps) than native-born American families.  Nationwide, non-native households are 59% more likely to take advantage of a state or federal welfare program than a native household.

Welfare Use by State

State Use of Any Major Welfare Program Cash Assistance
Immigrant Household Native Household Immigrant Household Native Household
New York 40.3% 22.6% 8.1% 6.9%
Texas 39.2% 21.1% 3.6% 4.8%
California 38.6% 18.0% 7.7% 6.1%
Arizona 36.5% 17.9% 7.3% 4.4%
Mass. 35.3% 20.7% 7.6% 5.7%
Colorado 35.1% 14.6% 2.7% 4.2%
Georgia 32.9% 19.1% 1.4% 3.7%
North Carolina 29.3% 21.8% 5.4% 4.8%
Washington 29.2% 16.7% 7.3% 5.4%
Florida 27.0% 15.3% 3.6% 3.0%
Illinois 21.3% 17.0% 1.5% 4.2%
Nevada 20.7% 12.2% 0.9% 2.7%
New Jersey 19.7% 13.5% 2.0% 3.8%
Virginia 19.1% 14.2% 3.6% 3.1%
Maryland 18.5% 16.0% 2.1% 4.6%
Nationwide 32.7% 19.4% 5.3% 4.9%


State Food Assistance Medicaid
Immigrant Household Native Household Immigrant Household Native Household
New York 20.3% 10.5% 33.3% 18.7%
Texas 30.9% 13.4% 24.2% 15.4%
California 21.2% 6.5% 31.2% 15.0%
Arizona 26.7% 7.9% 26.9% 15.4%
Mass. 13.7% 8.1% 29.3% 15.5%
Colorado 22.7% 5.6% 19.5% 11.7%
Georgia 23.3% 12.4% 23.1% 13.8%
North Carolina 17.6% 13.1% 22.5% 16.7%
Washington 17.6% 9.3% 23.3% 13.7%
Florida 16.8% 8.0% 18.2% 11.2%
Illinois 12.8% 8.9% 16.0% 11.8%
Nevada 12.3% 6.1% 11.2% 7.8%
New Jersey 11.1% 6.5% 14.5% 9.6%
Virginia 9.7% 7.5% 9.7% 9.8%
Maryland 9.3% 6.6% 12.9% 12.2%
Nationwide 19.4% 10.5% 24.4% 14.7%

Source: Center for Immigration Studies

NOTE: Only the top 15 states (by percentage of immigrant households on a welfare program) were examined in this study.

Tags:  
America's Jobless
Legal Immigration
Ethics of Population and Immigration