Patrick Taurel, Legal Fellow and the American Immigration Council, provides an in-depth look...
New Americans in Wyoming
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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of Wyoming’s population and economy. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 3.2% of the state’s population, and roughly one-third of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants not only contribute to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for millions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $2 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $319.5 million and employed nearly 4,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Wyoming would be ill-advised to alienate a significant component of its tax base and business community.
Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Wyoming’s population.
- The foreign-born share of Wyoming’s population rose from 1.7% in 1990 to 3.2% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Wyoming was home to 18,390 immigrants in 2011.
- 32.5% of immigrants (or 5,973 people) in Wyoming were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised less than 1.5% of the state’s population (or fewer than 10,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 1.8% (or 4,854) of registered voters in Wyoming 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 10 Wyomans are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of Wyoming’s population grew from 5.7% in 1990, to 6.4% in 2000, to 9.1% (or 51,758 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew 0.6% in 1990 to 0.9% (or 4,833 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos accounted for 2.8% (or 7,000) of Wyoming voters in the 2008 elections, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Wyoming, 89.7% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 96.2% of children in Latino families in Wyoming were U.S. citizens.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to Wyoming’s economy.
- The 2012 purchasing power of Latinos in Wyoming totaled $1.6 billion—an increase of 507.2% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $365 million—an increase of 1,158.6% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- Wyoming’s 1,728 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $192.3 million and employed 2,227 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 398 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $127.2 million and employed 1,623 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
Immigrants contribute to Wyoming’s economy as workers.
- Immigrants comprised 3.6% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 10,984 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Unauthorized immigrants are important to Wyoming’s economy as workers and consumers.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised less than 1.5% of the state’s workforce (or fewer than 10,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Wyoming, the state would lose $194.3 million in economic activity, $86.3 million in gross state product, and approximately 1,260 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Wyoming paid $4 million in state and local taxes in 2010, including $3.8 million in sales taxes and $242,000 in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in Wyoming to have legal status, they would pay $4.3 million in state and local taxes, including $4 million in sales taxes and $256,000 in property taxes.
Immigrants are important to Wyoming’s economy as students.
- Wyoming’s 1,072 foreign students contributed $20.3 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.
Naturalized citizens advance educationally.
- In Wyoming, 25.7% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared 22.1% of noncitizens. At the same time, 17.7% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 37% of noncitizens.
- The number of immigrants in Wyoming with a college degree increased by 100.7% between 2000 and 2011.
- In Wyoming, 88.1% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- The English proficiency rate among Latino children in Wyoming was 96.2% as of 2009.
Published On: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 | Download File
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