Immigrant Facts:Immigrants Help Drive the US Economy

The Impact of Immigrants in America:

Immigrants are helping to grow the US economy everywhere, not just in the places—like our biggest cities—that we expect.

Immigrants Contribute to our Healthcare System: As America's baby boomers retire and the elderly population grows, immigrants are filling major shortages in our healthcare sector.

  1. In the past two decades, immigrants have contributed an almost $200-billion surplus to Medicare.
  2. By 2020, we will need over 1.3 million additional direct healthcare workers, and immigrants already make up around 25% of these workers.
  3. Immigrants in the healthcare field are twice as likely to be high skilled physicians and surgeons, and also twice as likely to be lesser-skilled home health aides, both fields facing large and growing shortages.
  4. As Americans age, the senior-worker ratio is projected to grow by more than 70% by 2040. Immigration can help, because immigrants are more likely to be in the prime working-age range (20-64).

Immigrants create jobs and grow our economy: Immigrants play an important role in supporting the U.S. economy by starting successful businesses and creating jobs.

  1. 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant.
  2. Immigrants’ productivity raises the U.S. GDP by about $37 billion per year.
  3. Fully one in ten Americans employed at a privately owned company works at a company owned by an immigrant, and these businesses generate more than $775 billion in revenue per year.
  4. In 2013, Hispanic immigrant households contributed more than $86 billion to U.S. tax revenues.
  5. Immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses as native-born citizens.
  6. Immigrants start 25% of engineering and technology companies founded in the U.S. In Silicon Valley, that rate was 43.9%.

Immigrants support our farms: Labor shortages on our farms are threatening our $100 billion per year agriculture industry. Immigrants are ready and willing to fill these jobs, and are essential to our food supply.

  1. Agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to annual GDP, and immigrants make up 80% of workers on American farms.
  2. In the past decade, the number of field and crop laborers has dropped by more than 20%, costing fruit and vegetable production $3.1 billion per year.
  3. U.S.-born workers are not filling labor gaps on American farms; they offset less than 3% of the 20% decline.
  4. For every 3 to 4 immigrant farm workers, 1 additional American job is created.
  5. Fruit and vegetable growers have been unable to maintain their domestic market share. As a result, their communities missed out on almost $5 billion in farm income and more than 89,000 jobs in 2012 alone.
  6. Americans are importing 80% more fruits and vegetables than they did in 2000, in sizable part because of an inadequate supply of farm workers to meet demand.

Immigrants are changing the U.S. electorate: Demographics in America are rapidly changing as millions of new Hispanic and Asian voters join the electorate, representing an opportunity for both parties in 2016 and beyond.

  1. Foreign-born citizens are more than twice as likely as the general U.S. population to hold conservative or very conservative views yet identify as Democrats.
  2. While 32% of native-born Americans ages 18-29 rank religion as “very important”, 41% of immigrants in that age group do. Young immigrants are also about 15 to 20% more likely to oppose gay marriage and abortion than young people born in America.
  3. By 2016, $19.2 million potential new Hispanic and Asian voters will join the electorate, buoyed in part by the millions of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who are or will become eligible to naturalize, gain citizenship, and register to vote.
  4. If Hispanic and Asian voting patterns from the 2012 presidential election continue, many traditionally Republican states will become competitive or begin to lean Democratic.
  5. If Republicans can regain the same level of support they held among Asian and Hispanic voters in 2004, they could benefit from this rapidly growing pool of potential voters.

Immigrants help defend our country: With military action requiring increasingly global skills, such as foreign language proficiency and medical expertise, immigrants are playing an important role in keeping our country safe.

  1. The U.S. military and national defense sector currently need service members of diverse backgrounds, or with strong foreign language skills.
  2. Ground commanders have expressed the importance of language and culture skills for general purpose forces in counterinsurgency and stability operations, stressing that language training is as important as marksmanship.
  3. Each year around 8,000 noncitizens enlist in the military, and in 2008, more than 65,000 immigrants were serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.