Virginia’s workforce is one of the most productive, highly educated, and highest earning in the nation, forming the backbone of an economy that is routinely ranked as a powerhouse. Immigrants have played a key role in the Commonwealth’s success. Without a better understanding and appreciation of what a critical asset the foreign-born population is, Virginia’s ability to reach its full economic potential is threatened. On many measures, Virginia’s foreign-born residents not only perform better than immigrants in other states, they also compare favorably to the native-born population nationally.
More than one in six small business owners in the United States is an immigrant, according to a new report from FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative. Immigrants – people born in another country – make up 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States. By contrast, immigrants are 13 percent of the population and 16 percent of the labor force, according to the American Community Survey from 2010. That’s a big change from 20 years ago, when immigrants made up 9 percent of the labor force and 12 percent of small business owners. The report includes national data, information about the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and information about the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the country.
Immigrants – documented and undocumented combined – make up 16 percent of the population of Long Island, and account for 17 percent of total economic output. This report presents data on jobs, earnings, family income, taxes, and home ownership. Immigrants’ economic role is examined town by town and in a national context as well. Among the 50 most affluent suburban counties in the country, Nassau and Suffolk are neither at the top nor the bottom of any of several measures of immigration. Driving immigrants away from Long Island would exact a high price to the social fabric and to the local economy