2018 immigrant sentiment in the United States

Last updated on August 8th, 2023 at 11:48 am

Immigrant communities contribute so much to the world. They contribute to the global economy, to the local economies they support, and expand our worldviews by educating us about their culture and history. Organizations honor these incredible contributions through holidays like Immigrant Heritage Month this month and the United Nation’s annual International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on June 16 — an annual celebration recognizing the significant financial contributions that migrant workers make to the well-being of their families back home and to the local economies of their countries of origin.

Over $574 Billion is sent around the world through peer-to-peer, or people-to-people, remittances. This is over four times larger than global foreign aid contributed by governments worldwide.

Migrant workers who made the incredible sacrifice of moving to a new country to live and work account for most of these remittances. These earnings contribute billions to the local economies they live in, though they are mostly shared with their loved ones across borders who depend on it. The largest flows of money are sent from developed nations like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to low-to-middle income countries such as Mexico, India, The Philippines, and Vietnam.

For many on the receiving end, it is a lifeline.

Immigrant communities have historically been overlooked and disadvantaged by financial institutions and services. For too long financial service companies have taken advantage of this community by offering them unfair rates, high fees, and other discouraging limitations. At Remitly, we’re looking to change that. Our service makes international remittances more fair, transparent, and cost-effective for those who rely on them. We aim to deliver on our promises to customers so they can deliver on the promises they made to their loved ones.

Remitly has deeply invested in understanding immigrant communities to understand their needs and advocate on their behalf. We advocate for immigrant communities around the world; they’re our customers, family, friends, and neighbors. We want the world to see what we see, that they are heroes, working hard to help their loved ones who rely on the money they send.

Despite challenges in the U.S., the outlook is still bright

To learn more about the current attitudes and experiences of immigrant communities in the U.S., we carried out a study June 1 – 5, 2018 to learn more about the current immigrant sentiment in America. The inaugural study, conducted by Ipsos for Remitly, surveyed first-generation Latin American immigrants (defined as Latin American adults born outside of the U.S.). It focused on their attitudes and experiences after immigrating to the U.S., their views on financial services in the country, and to see if they thought the American Dream still existed for their community.

“The American Dream is defined by immigrants who come to the U.S. seeking a more prosperous life. Despite political and social threats toward Latin American immigrants, they remain optimistic and work toward the dream of a better life in America. We are committed to providing the best financial services for them in the hopes that they can achieve any version of their American Dream.” – Remitly CEO and Co-founder, Matt Oppenheimer

The results were overwhelmingly optimistic. We found nine in ten immigrants believe the American Dream – the belief that everyone in the U.S. has the chance to be successful and happy if they work hard – is still achievable. This optimism is despite the challenges immigrants face like cultural barriers, navigating complex immigration regulations, finding housing, work, and accessing services.

And nearly 3 out of 4 (almost 70%) would choose to move or stay in the U.S. if given the opportunity to go back in time and make the decision again.

If America was a company, what would be its NPS score?

Using the NPS scoring method, we asked respondents using a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend moving to the U.S. to a friend, family member, or colleague? As a result, America’s NPS score is a 6. Below is a list of well-known companies and their NPS scores to see how the United States’ NPS scores compare.

  • Comcast: -3
  • H & R Block: 14
  • Yahoo: -9
  • AOL: 0
  • Equifax: -1
  • Amazon: 25
  • Google: 11

Source: Customer.guru

Overall, more respondents were Promoters (people that scored the U.S. a 9 or 10) than Detractors (people that scored the U.S. a 6 or below) or Passives (people that scored the U.S. a 7 or 8).

Given the current political climate, more than half (60%) of the respondents would still recommend relocating to the U.S. to a friend, family member, or colleague.

As respondents cited economics as the main reason for moving to the U.S., we also looked at the immigrant perspective on financial services. When asked about both traditional financial services and mobile banking offerings, the findings were again, optimistic, and revealed:

  • Sixty-two percent of immigrants trust mobile technology to handle their finances
  • Among the 38% who would not trust mobile technology to manage their finances, 71% say this is because they are worried about their data/privacy
  • Thirty-eight percent get their financial advice from family and friends
  • Eighty-four percent think traditional financial institutions are meeting their financial needs, and 93% feel mobile technology/financial technology is meeting their financial needs

Take a look at additional findings below. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Today and every day we thank migrant workers and their families for the sacrifices, hard work, contributions, and the positive impact you make on the world around you.

Remitly Immigrant Sentiment Study: Immigrants and the American Dream

About the Study: These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted June 1 – June 5, 2018 on behalf of Remitly. For the survey, a sample of 501 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online, in English or in Spanish. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to report being born in a country other than the United States. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ±5.0 percentage points for all respondents surveyed.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=501, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=6.5).