Beth Werlin, Deputy Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, discusses the recent...
New Americans in Connecticut
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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and electorate in Connecticut. Nearly 1 in 7 Connecticuters are immigrants (foreign-born), and almost half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 11.3% of registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $21.8 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $5.8 billion and employed more than 30,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Connecticut can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.
Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Connecticut’s population and electorate.
- The foreign-born share of Connecticut’s population rose from 8.5% in 1990, to 10.9% in 2000, to 13.4% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Connecticut was home to 478,323 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of Sacramento, California.
- 49.4% of immigrants (or 236,346 people) in Connecticut were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 3.4% of the state’s population (or 120,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 11.3% (or 199,011) of registered voters in Connecticut were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.
Roughly 1 in 6 Connecticuters are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of Connecticut’s population grew from 6.5% in 1990, to 9.4% in 2000, to 13.8% (or 494,289 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 1.5% in 1990, to 2.4% in 2000, to 3.9% (or 141,081 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos accounted for 5.5% (or 89,000) of Connecticut voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 1.3% (21,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Connecticut, 86.2% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 86.3% of children in Asian families in Connecticut were U.S. citizens, as were 94.4% of children in Latino families.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Connecticut’s economy.
- The 2012 purchasing power of Latinos in Connecticut totaled $13.4 billion—an increase of 481% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $8.4 billion—an increase of 687% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- Connecticut’s 14,081 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $2.5 billion and employed 11,872 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 11,081 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.3 billion and employed 18,838 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
Immigrants are essential to Connecticut’s economy as workers.
- Immigrants comprised 16.7% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 326,253 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Unauthorized immigrants are integral to Connecticut’s economy as workers.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 4.5% of the state’s workforce (or 85,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Connecticut, the state would lose $5.6 billion in economic activity, $2.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 24,119 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Connecticut paid $118.7 million in state and local taxes in 2010, including $82.4 million in sales taxes, $20.5 million in state income taxes, and $15.7 million in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in Connecticut to have legal status, they would pay $146.6 million in state and local taxes, including $87.2 million in sales taxes, $43.3 million in state income taxes, and $16.1 million in property taxes.
Immigrants are integral to Connecticut’s economy as students.
- Connecticut’s 9,350 foreign students contributed $318.2 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2011-2012 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Immigrants excel educationally.
- The number of immigrants in Connecticut with a college degree increased by 60.9% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- In Connecticut, 82.9% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2011, according to data from the Urban Institute.
Published On: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 | Download File