- June 16, 2016
- Fiscal Policy Institute
- David Dyssegaard Kallick, and Silva Mathema
The Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for American Progress released a report that analyzes how four key refugee groups—Bosnians, Burmese, Hmong, and Somalis—in the United States are doing on key indicators of integration, such as wages, labor market participation, business ownership, English language ability, and citizenship. As the United States and other countries wrestle with how to handle the sharp rise in the number of people around the globe displaced by conflict and persecution, the long-term experiences of the four groups studied in this report should provide grounds for encouragement.
The methodology developed for this report allows for a rare analysis of how refugee groups integrate in the long run. The report finds that over time, refugees integrate well into their new communities. For example, after being in the United States for 10 years, refugees are in many regards similar to their U.S.-born neighbors, with similar rates of labor force participation and business ownership; the large majority have learned to speak English after being in the country for 10 years and have become naturalized U.S. citizens after being in the country for 20 years.