Argentines who leave the country and come to the United States to work and start a new life have at least one reward: they are the Hispanic immigrants who earn the most here, and most of them have their own homes, according to a recent study that puts their salary at an average of $80,000 a year.
Perhaps because they have lived through many economic and social crises since childhood, most Argentine immigrants adapt quickly to U.S. rules and at the same time, with a great capacity for work, they have the flexibility and vision to see opportunities and create new businesses and ventures. There are many success stories of professionals, entrepreneurs, teachers, and experts in the world of finance, among other fields.
The community shares mates, croissants and wines, and in some places they congregate in neighborhoods such as "little Buenos Aires" in Miami. Jealous of maintaining customs and traditions, many send their children to Argentine schools in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and Miami to maintain the language and study the country's history with official Argentine programs.
The prestigious Pew Research Center published an X-ray of Hispanic migration in the United States, based on data from the last U.S. Census in 2021.
They point out that there are 290,000 who identified themselves as Hispanics of Argentine origin living in the United States and this includes immigrants from Argentina and those who trace their family ancestry to our country, that is, children of Argentines who, having been born in U.S. territory, identify themselves as compatriots.
Where do Argentines who immigrated to the U.S. live?
The Argentines who live here are a small community, compared to the millions of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans and other Latin American countries. In fact, they are the 14th largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States and represent less than 1% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2021. A strong migratory wave occurred after the 2001 crisis, when the population of Argentine origin increased by 169%, from 110,000 to 290,000. The study does not take into account the wave of migrants after the pandemic.
Many of them have planted roots in the country. 53% of Argentines who came to the U.S. have already lived here for more than 20 years and 59% are already U.S. citizens. They are mostly concentrated in Florida (23%), California (20%), New York (10%), Texas (8%) and New Jersey (6%).
Part of the Argentinian community in Washington, celebrating the World Cup won by the National Team a year ago.
Compatriots are the highest-earning Hispanic immigrants, with an annual average of $80,000. They are followed by Costa Ricans with 75,000 and Spaniards with 73,000. Those who receive the lowest salaries are Hondurans and Dominicans, with 50,000. In addition, the majority of Argentines were able to fulfill the dream of owning their own home: 62% have managed to buy a home (surpassing the average of 51% of Hispanic immigrants).
Mark Hugo López, director of Race and Ethnicity Research at the Pew Research Center, explains to Clarín that the figure of US$ 80,000 is updated to this year, since in 2021 it was US$ 62,000.
Citizens and high-level educators
Another important characteristic is that they have a high level of education. According to Pew, 46% of Argentines living in the U.S. have at least a college degree, while 20% of Hispanic immigrants overall have that degree. In fact, they are the second most educated Latino immigrants, behind only Venezuelans (57% have a university degree).
Asked about the reasons for the higher income compared to other Hispanic groups, López points out that "Argentine immigrants in the United States have higher levels of education compared to other Latino immigrants and have been in the United States longer. They are also more likely to hold U.S. citizenship (59% have it compared to 41% among all Latino immigrants). All of these characteristics are linked to higher revenues," he says.
Because of their education and their legal status, they have more qualified jobs. López explains that "24% of Argentine immigrants work in management or business, 14% work in educational, legal, and community service jobs, and 8% are in sales jobs." The rest move in sectors where Hispanics of other origins proliferate, such as construction, building or land cleaning, and transportation.
David Cook-Martin, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado, said: "The United States is as classist a society as any other, and levels of education, annual income, real estate wealth, and English proficiency matter a lot. Education levels among Argentine immigrants are higher than those of the Hispanic community they are part of. And in the U.S., education continues to be a determinant of socioeconomic trajectories and outcomes. In fact, census data indicate higher annual remuneration for the Argentinian community. Argentines also have higher rates of homeownership. And Argentinian adults are more likely to be proficient in English than other Hispanics. These are the factors that distinguish Argentines and their children in the United States."
"I get the impression that Argentines are overrepresented among owners and managers of small businesses, although younger and/or second-generation Argentines follow work and professional trajectories very similar to those of other young people with a similar socioeconomic profile," he adds.
Anahí Viladrich, professor and researcher (sociologist and medical anthropologist) at the City University of New York, told Clarín that "there has been an immigration of the intelligentsia of Argentines that is not new, but that has increased especially since the expiration of the visa waiver (in 2001), a program that facilitated the entry of Argentines without a visa to the United States. U.S."
"In addition to the difficulties in entering and staying legally in the U.S., the U.S. government prioritizes 'excellent' legal immigration, which has facilitated the arrival (and permanence) of Argentines with graduate degrees and who are inserted both in academia and in companies where human and cultural capital is valued," Adds.
He explains that "the recurrent crises in Argentina have generated an effect that I have called 'extended settlement'; that is, Argentines who want to return to their homeland, and plan for the future, but who end up staying in the U.S. since the Argentine scenario does not offer them stability or the same economic conditions. The latter is very common in many migrant populations (including members of the Argentine community) who reproduce the 'myth of return', which is expressed as a desire that never comes to fruition or is postponed indefinitely in time."