Report provides demographic profile of U.S. immigrant population

lawJust weeks ahead of the midterm elections in the United States, immigration policy has emerged as a top issue for voters. While the political rhetoric on immigration may overlook important nuances about the complexity of this issue, it remains critical for the public to understand the contributions immigrant populations make to American communities.

The American Immigration Council has extensive data on the national and state population size, educational and citizenship attainment, English proficiency levels, and tax contributions of foreign-born individuals.

The Council’s fact sheet, Immigrants in the United States, shows that over 13 percent of the nation’s residents are foreign-born, almost half of whom are naturalized citizens. Nearly 72 percent of all immigrants report speaking English well or very well. Immigrants make up significant shares of the U.S. workforce in a range of industries, accounting for over 41 percent of all farming, fishing, and forestry workers—as well as nearly 25 percent of those working in computer and math sciences.

The fact sheet also reveals that immigrants in the U.S. account for 16.9 percent of the nation’s labor force and have contributed a total of $223.6 billion in federal taxes and $104.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2014. As consumers, immigrants spent $926.9 billion on America’s economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs in the U.S. generated $72.3 billion in business revenue.

Drawing from U.S. Census data and other sources, the Council developed fifty state fact sheets— including infographics—that provide the latest demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in each U.S. state and can be accessed here.

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