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Chart: America’s Gold Plated Cabinet

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Chart: America's Gold Plated Cabinet

America’s Gold Plated Cabinet

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

When President Trump was elected to the Oval Office with a net worth in the billions, it was clear that this presidency would be unique.

Not only did he himself come a successful business background, but he wanted the people surrounding him to have similar backgrounds as well.

In 2016, the newly elected Trump was quoted as saying he wanted to have people in his cabinet that “made a fortune”, also stating that he was putting together “one of the great cabinets that has ever been assembled in the history of our nation.”

Comparing First-Term Cabinets

Today’s chart, which also appears on the back cover of Politico Magazine (web version found here), shows the wealth of initial cabinets put together by the last three presidents: Trump, Obama, and Bush.

Here’s how they stack up, in terms of aggregate wealth:

AdministrationStart of Initial TermCabinet Net Worth
Trump2017$2.33 billion
Obama2009$67 million
Bush2001$355 million

Trump’s cabinet is worth a cool $2.33 billion – about 35x the size of Barack Obama’s initial cabinet, and 7x the size of George W. Bush’s first.

Interestingly, the top four people (in terms of wealth) are all in Trump’s:

Richest cabinet members

Betsy DeVos ($1.1 billion) sits atop as the wealthiest person in all three initial cabinets – and Wilbur Ross ($506.5 million), Rex Tillerson ($294.5 million), and Steve Mnuchin ($252.0 million) round out the other top spots.

Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld ($151.9 million) was the richest person outside of Trump’s cabinet.

Obama’s Second Term

While the comparisons in the chart are all for initial cabinets, it is worth noting that Obama’s second cabinet was not so modest.

He elected to bring in Penny Pritzker as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who was worth $2.2 billion – almost the combined net worth of Trump’s cabinet today!

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Politics

Charted: How Latin America Drove U.S. Immigration from 1970–2019

The U.S. is built on immigration and this chart shows how Latin America has been one of the biggest drivers of U.S. immigration in the last 50 years.

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latam immigration

Charted: How LatAm Drove U.S. Immigration from 1970–2019

LatAm, otherwise known as Latin America, has been one of the biggest sources of immigration to the U.S. over the last one hundred years.

Since the 1970s, the region has driven the second wave of U.S. immigration and helped shape the country’s future immeasurably. This is especially clear when looking at Census data listing where people were born.

This chart from Latinometrics looks at the history of U.S. immigration considering both documented and undocumented immigration since 1850.

Historical U.S. Immigration

For most of its early history, Europeans drove immigration to the United States.

The UK, Ireland, and Germany were especially big sources of American immigrants well into the 20th century. But around the 1960-70s this began to shift, with LatAm countries marking the next wave of U.S. immigration.

ℹ️ LatAm includes all Central American, Caribbean, and South American countries.

Here’s a sample of the history of U.S. immigration using select years and regions:

Region/Country1850 190019602000201020152019
🇲🇽 Mexico13.3K 103.4K575.9K9.2M11.7M11.6M10.9M
Rest of Asia377 36.7K379.0K6.2M7.9M8.8M9.2M
Rest of Latin America1.7K19.7K217.6K4.8M6.9M7.5M8.5M
Caribbean5.8K14.4K114.8K2.1M2.6M3.0M3.1M
Rest of Europe49.5K2.8M3.7M2.9M3.0M3.0M3.0M
🇮🇳 India-2.0K12.3K1.0M1.8M2.4M2.7M
Africa5512.5K35.4K881.3K1.6M2.1M2.5M
🇨🇳 China, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan75881.5K99.7K988.9K1.6M2.1M2.3M
🇨🇦 Canada14.8K1.2M952.5K820.8K798.6K830.6K797.2K
🇬🇧 United Kingdom1.3M2.8M1.2M677.8K669.8K683.5K677.9K
🇩🇪 Germany583.8K2.7M989.8K706.7K604.6K585.3K537.7K
🇮🇹 Italy3.7K484.0K1.3M473.3K365.0K352.5K314.9K
Oceania5888.8K34.7K168.0K216.7K238.7K300.2K
🇫🇷 France54.1K104.2K111.6K151.2K148.0K173.6K171.5K
Share of U.S. Population Made up of Immigrants9.8%13.3%5.7%11.0%12.9%13.5%13.7%

LatAm Immigration

As of 2019, 22.6 million foreign-born people in the U.S. were originally from LatAm countries, with 10.9 million from Mexico alone.

Additionally, in 2021 Mexican citizens received the highest number of U.S. immigrant visas in the world at almost 40,600. Immigrant visas are the first step in the process to U.S. green cards and citizenship.

And though Asian countries are beginning to make up the majority of U.S. immigrant applicants and permits, other LatAm countries also ranked high in issued permits in 2021:

  • 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic: 17.9K
  • 🇸🇻 El Salvador: 7.8K
  • 🇪🇨 Ecuador: 5.1K
  • 🇨🇴 Colombia: 4.8K

Furthermore, there is also undocumented immigration to consider. According to 2019 figures from Brookings, there are between 10.5-12 million undocumented migrants living in the U.S.—making up just over 3% of the population.

Here’s a look at the top five countries in terms of undocumented immigration to the U.S. in 2019, most of which are LatAm countries:

CountryNumber of Immigrants% of Total Undocumented Population
🇲🇽 Mexico5,313,00048%
🇸🇻 El Salvador741,000 7%
🇬🇹 Guatemala724,0007%
🇮🇳 India553,0005%
🇭🇳 Honduras490,0004%

The Future of U.S. Immigration

In the last few years, more and more Asian countries are seeing their citizens leave for the United States. In addition, the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian War (as well as other global events and crises) could shift U.S. immigration even further away from LatAm.

Currently, the U.S. is only permitting small numbers of legal immigrants to enter the country each year, numbering in only the hundreds of thousands. But as birth rates decline, the growth in the foreign-born population will continue to be a much-discussed and important topic for the country’s demographics in the coming years.

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