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The Forgotten Americans

Focus: Las Colonias

 

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Income

Although NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)-- a trade agreement with Mexico -- has brought prosperity to many along the U.S. border, this economic boom has eluded many colonia families. Colonias were originally built in the 1950s as make shift dwellings for migrant farm workers. However, farm jobs in the new economy have dwindled because of modern machinery and increased agricultural production in Asian and African nations.

  • Median annual income of families in colonias is estimated at $7,000-$11,000 per household. Typical family size is 5-6 people.

Median annual income for a family of four in the US is $56,000, family of four in Texas is $51,000, family of 5-6 in colonias $9,000.

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