January 4, 2007

Study: 25 million Mexican-Americans failing to contribute to high tech in America

For years, I've been pointing at the dog that didn't bark -- the remarkable failure of Latin American immigrants to contribute to California's high tech industries. Granted, the new much-publicized Duke study finding that 1/4th of technology start-ups are founded by immigrants never gets around to saying that in so many words, but if you check the data carefully, that's what you find. You are going to hear a lot of heehawing over how this study proves we benefit from Open Borders, but what it shows instead is that tens of millions of illegal immigrants have contributed almost nothing to high tech in America.

For example, Graph 5a is "Immigrant Groups Founding Engineering and Technology Companies in California." India is out in front at 20%, followed by Taiwan (13%), and China (10%). This time, Mexico makes the chart, but with only 1%. That's not a lot of return for having 10,000,000 Mexicans in California.

Similarly, Chart 10 shows patent applications by non-citizen immigrants over the last 20 years. Mexicans, who are by far the largest number of non-citizens in America, don't even make the top 20: Chinese & Taiwanese are first, followed by India, Canada, UK, Germany, France and Russia. Heck, Turkey makes the top 20, and there are hardly any Turks in America. But not Mexico (or any other Latin American country).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Steve -- interesting study. What do you make of Graph 5b, which shows the national origin of immigrant tech company founders in Florida. Latin Americans -- including Mexicans -- are better represented there than in California. Why do you think that is?

Curious in NJ,


Anonymous said...

why is this surprising? mexicans, and really any american indians from central and south america, are very mediocre people, who barely participate at the highest level of any human endeavor.

they pretty much directly contradict rushton's ideas about genes on an axis.

i just lump them in with the people from indonesia, pakistan, and bangladesh. there's another half a billion people who account for almost nothing in any field. thoroughly average humans.


i haven't researched cubans much but i do know two cuban guys started up alienware, which was recently purchased by dell.


of course, a lot of cubans look european.

Anonymous said...

here are alex aguila and nelson gonzalez in the alienware warehouse:


Lysander Spooner said...

In other shocking news, Haitians are not winning Nobel Prizes in physics.

Steve Sailer said...

In answer to the first question:

A. There's not much technology in Florida compared to California. There's no Silicon Swamp to speak of in Florida. So it's easy to be 8% of Florida's immigrant tech firms than 8% of California's.

B. Florida attracts upper class Latin Americans while California attracts lower class ones. So, well to do Mexican immigrants avoid California and go to Florida, the one state with lots of upper middle class Spanish speakers. By all accounts, the states with large new Hispanic populations like Georgia and North Carolina and Nevada are following the California path, not the Florida path, so California's experience is much more indicative of the future national experience than Florida's.

Steve Sailer said...

As I mentioned in VDARE awhile ago, Hector Ruiz, the CEO of AMD, the #2 CPU chipmaker after Intel, is from Mexico. AMD is certainly not a start-up, but it's a big deal firm. But, boy, it's hard to find other Mexican immigrants in important roles in Silicon Valley, even though there are more than 10 million people of Mexican descent in California.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the response. Your second point, about Florida tending to attract upper class Latin Americans sounds true, at least from my anecdotal experience.

Another thought about FL came to mind after I wrote my first comment: Many Latin American countries have small but generally high-achieving Jewish populations. South Florida, with its large Jewish population as well as its large affluent Spanish-speaking population, would seem to be an attractive destination for a Jewish Latin American immigrant entrepreneur.

Regarding your first point, about the lack of a "Silicon Swamp" in FL, true also. Texas though has a fairly big tech industry, and according to Graph 5f, Mexicans are better represented as founders of tech start-ups there than in CA (though no other Latin Americans seem to be founding tech companies in TX). Any thoughts on the difference between Mexican participation in TX versus CA?


Steve Sailer said...

A fair number of Mexican-Americans in Texas are descended from middle class refugees from the Mexican Revolution 90 years ago. And there are numerous business connections between Texas and Monterrey, the most advanced industrial city in Mexico.

(Interestingly, the two founding industrial families of Monterrey, the Garzas and the Sadas, were converts to Catholicism from Judaism who only married other Jewish converts.)

California, in contrast, tended to attract farmworkers from Mexico.

Anonymous said...

I've had experiences with startups and high tech in CA, TX, and FL. I've had experiences with high tech startups in Latin America.

You cannot meaningfully compare "high tech" startups without more detail if you're trying to address the question of degree and types of human capital which seems to be the point. The startups in Silicon Valley are leaders in creating world beating, first generation innovative technologies more than any place else (Cambridge area coming in second).

The startups in TX, FL and Latin America successively become less hard core innovators and first movers to more everyday business applications using such technologies (e.g. Bush's brother in Austin creating educational software for public schools). These latter "tech startups" depend more upon capital and connections than the sterotypical innovative entrepreneur with a high brainpower workforce. Both are valuable and necessary startups, but they play very different roles and have very different characteristics.

A significant part of this is cultural. Cubans, Chileans, peoples from Rio Plata/southern Brasil (very European) and Rio/Sao Paulo are reputed to have superior work ethics and work cultures. Japanese, Jews, Indians and Middle Easterners (e.g. Maronites) have done exceptionally well in Latin America.

Still, the grade is pretty steep when comparing regional vs global tech centers. Akin to triple A ball vs the pros - comparing them by league size gives limited information.


Anonymous said...

Who do you think does all the childcare, lawncare and construction for techies working 70hr weeks? An indirect contribution perhaps - at least in the first generation or two.

However, the situation in many costal areas make having children, lawns and homes increasingly prohibitively expensive.

Anonymous said...

What nobody's gonna say it!?!

Hector Ruiz, CEO of AMD, is the exception that proves the rule. ;-)

Anonymous said...

hector ruiz didn't have anything to do with starting up AMD, he was hired in 2000.

i'm not saying he doesn't know what he's doing, he does, he worked at texas instruments for years.

he just has nothing to do with a discussion about startups.

Rast said...

The south park quote is "And in conclusion, the Latino community has provided America, and indeed, the entire world with innovations that we would be lost without. And that is my presentation on the role of Hispanics in American technology." http://www.southparkstuff.com/season_7/episode_705/epi705script/

I have to say it didn't trip my alarm when I saw it. If it was intentional, Max and Trey were being very, very sly.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather deveolpe NATIVE BORN WHITE TALENT that resides in APPALACHIA.

This would be a much better idea than importing and developing-at NATIVE BORN WHITE TAX PAYERS EXPENSE-China's youth.

Developing the scientific talent that resides in the NATIVE BORN WHITE FEMALE population would be a very good idea also.

The 1965 immigration reform act has undermined and subverted labor and social policies aimed at -or could have been aimed at- developing NATIVE BORN WHITE SCIENTIFIC TALENT.

Large scale hispanic migration to America-obviously of no bennefit to NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICA-is acting as a safety valve for Mexico. Eventually the safety valve will be closed. Mexico will erupt into violent revolution. The inevitable is only being postponed.

On the issue of South American Ameridian scientific intelligence, the late Richard Feynmann was very inmpressed with some of the scientific acheivements of these human beings.


America is living on borrowed time.


Neshobanakni said...


Way to go, lumping half a hemisphere together. No way those millions of people might have differing languages and cultures allowing different contributions (or lack thereof) to science and technology. Why should we consider the fact that they're saddled with a dominant Latin culture (a Windows GUI over their DOS, if you will)inimical to scientific achievement?

And Jupiter, How 'bout if we promote opportunity for NATIVE BORN AMERICANS without stipulating they only be white? Since most folks born here are white, it'll still serve your pupose of advancing white folks... Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...


Asians,africans,hispanics and muslims don't wory about the welfare of my NATIVE BORN WHITE FAMILY.So why should I worry about the welfare of asian,african,hispanic and muslims families?

Liberal immigration reformers such as Roy Beck are silly asses who go on Lou Dobbs arguing that high levels of immigration are bad for asians,africans,hispanics and muslims. Not a peep about how it harms the Native Born White majority population.

Beck has conceeded the race/demographiuc issue to the enemy. Incredibly stupid man.

Bring back the Chinese exclusion act as soon as possible.

Young NATIVE BORN WHITE MALES are competing with young predatory legal immigrant asian males for affordable affordable living and breeding space breeding space.

If the intent isn't genocidal, the consequences will be. I believe the intentions of the treason lobbby-leftist(Z magazine and counterpunch types),the Reublican and Democratic parties(corporatists) are manifestly genocidal.

Bring back the Chinese exclusion act!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The previous repsonse to Neshbo was entirely composed by Jupiter.


Anonymous said...

You might be on to something. But those little Mexicans and Salvadorans are good at one thing that nobody else seems willing to do: take back the inner cities from the incorrigible Native Born Americans who are holding them hostage. They are already starting to do it.

To really look at the whole lack of education issue, you need to find a way to distinguish chronic underachievement syndrome from FOB peasant syndrome. Many waves of people have gone from bumpkins to bourgeois in a few generations. The Irish started out as FOB peasants, ignorant and violent as hell, but are now one of the best educated ethnic groups in Amurica. That's urbanization, not collective aptitude.

Hard working and dull beats destructive but entertaining any day. The real danger is that these little kiddy neighborhood protection rackets (like MS-13) are developing into full-blown and organized drug cartels (something those Native Born Americans never managed to do) with ties to unstable parts of centroamerica.

Anonymous said...

The problems we are creating with this rampant illegal immigration are astounding. Equality of people and nations is the greatest myth of all time. We either reverse course or sink.