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Virginia immigrants’ impact on the economy

woman holding American flag
(© Africa Studio –

Virginia has more than 1 million migrants from different places and backgrounds. That’s about 12.5 percent ​​of the region’s inhabitants but still a bit under the national average (13.7%). This number may not seem too big (compared to other states), but still, it’s significant one to the region.

Why do residents from abroad choose Virginia as their final destination? How do all these individuals affect the land’s economics? To what extent does the presence of an immigrant from another country change Virginia’s economic situation, and in which direction? What can we do to improve the situation? This and other questions will be discussed in this article.

Why do immigrants choose this place?

The land needs employees in various factories and technological enterprises. And Virginia’s immigrants tend to be well-educated and bring a look at the jobs and the community. So, the answer is simple – they are looking for a chance to find employment, send their children to good-level schools, and live in a pleasant, prosperous community. Virginia offers a lot of possibilities to those who are looking for a happier and are ready to use their knowledge and abilities for positive results.

Which countries does Virginia’s immigrant population come from?

The region welcomes newcomers from almost all over the planet. At the national level, the leading position is occupied by 25% of the total individuals from Mexico. But here, it is difficult to choose a dominant group. The Mexicans make up only 5% of all migrants. This is the 4th place after those who were from El Salvador (11%), Korea (6%), or India (9%).

If we take a continent-scale view, then Asia predominates. 43% of Virginia’s immigrants are from there. And, of course, the region faces a problem of illegal immigration in different places, too.

Northern Virginia is the part of the region where the majority of the immigrant foreigners population is living. If we talk about the percentage of the overall population of this region, it turns out to be about 27 percent. A lot of adult immigrants have been living here for years, already have kids born in the US, have health insurance, and contribute to the local community.

Participation of Virginia’s immigrants in the labor force

The percentage points that the workforce of immigrants is bigger than in native Americans, the rate is 72% and 65%, respectively. The overall unemployment rate in the place is also under the midpoint. This is partly due to the fact that a large proportion of state immigrants are from 25 to 54. But of course, there are younger and older people leaving here too as well. This is an extremely useful statistic for the nation’s economy. After all, all employed migrants have a huge contribution to it.

The level of education of these workers is also often high. Of all the states with large numbers of migrants, Virginia is the leader in the number of foreigners with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Most immigrants with higher education are India-born – about 75% with a bachelor’s degree. Next are immigrants from China – 63%, Korean-born – 50%, and Filipino-born – 44%.

However, this does not mean that all immigrants have good educational levels. There are also many who come from abroad and haven’t even finished high school.

The benefits that migrants bring

In most cases, the immigrant workers who come and settle here are fluent in English, have a good education, and are employed locally. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they don’t come across challenges moving to the new country. The problems faced by the immigrants are described in an essay about immigration issues more extensively. Fortunately, in most cases they work hard to add to the health of the social community a lot. In general, when comparing the work variety of Americans and migrant residents, there are a lot of differences there, too.

Immigrant contributors are more into construction, tourism, entertainment, science, and managerial positions,especially in the field of nutrition and arts.

If we compare the state and the country level, in Virginia, foreign residents will be employed more often in the generally highly skilled and highly paid sectors, including starting their own businesses.

The level of salaries of the immigrants’ population

Despite their level of education, professional abilities or experience, immigrants’ salaries in Virginia state are slightly lower than those born in the US.

For comparison, according to the 2017 data report, the median annual earnings of business in the state of men born in the US were 59,413 US dollars. Virginia’s immigrants had $52,351. And women immigrants made 45,989 and 42,309 dollars, respectively.

On the other hand, these figures are still bigger than those of migrants from other states. Men and women rank 7th in middle salaries among all regions.

Economy experts agree that the immigrants’ workforce plays an important role in the community’s commonwealth and could be the key to the economic growth of the region and that their role is often underestimated. Highly skilled and educated immigrants help the nation to be competitive in many different fields, such as technological innovation, etc.

The only thing that specialists are arguing about is the role of employees with lower secondary education.

From a policy point of view, it would be good to look for ways to improve working conditions and outcomes for men with less formal education, in particular, to combat employment bias, and to benefit from the overall economic benefits of it.

Story by Terri Lawrence

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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