- March 3, 2015
- Washington State Budget and Policy Center
- Eritrea Habtemariam
During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers have an opportunity to enhance the already important contributions immigrants make in our state. As the Legislature considers funding for schools, health care and other services, along with other policies, it is important to understand how immigrants play a major role in Washington state’s economy and society.
Immigrants are an important part of the fabric of our society, making our state more culturally rich and economically vibrant. Like so many new Washingtonians before them, they come from all regions of the world in search of opportunity.
The majority of immigrants in our state – who represent one in six workers (17 percent) – are from Mexico, the Philippines, Canada, Vietnam and Korea. (1) Immigrants – whether naturalized citizens, lawfully present, or undocumented – play a significant and growing role in Washington state’s economy. As 13 percent of the total Washington state population, immigrants’ share of total annual economic output is 14 percent.