While politicians and the U.S. Census Bureau may disagree on how many illegal aliens are living in the United States, the big credit reporting agencies have a pretty solid handle on the number and it is 17 million. That's 17 million adults of unproved nationality who have ongoing financial relationships with businesses or — believe it or not — governments. It's likely that there is some duplication in this total number, that is an illegal alien who is counted twice because he has, for example, a different relationship with his electric utility than he does with his phone company. But since the 17 million figure doesn't include children, the two are likely to wash out and 17 million is probably pretty darned close to the real number. But it isn't in any way close to the total number of U.S residents who have financial identities not tied to a Social Security number. That would be 37 million, meaning there are 20 million participants in the U.S. gray economy who aren't illegal, who are legitimate citizens. This means about 10 percent of U.S. residents are financially invisible, or think they are.
Which brings me, as usual lately, to Google.
Stick with me, because this is good.
Getting to Know You: Think you have a secret life? Think again.