The American Immigration Council reported that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians account for large and growing shares of the economy and the electorate in New York. Immigrants (the foreign-born) account for more than 1 in 5 New Yorkers—and more than half of them are U.S. citizens eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 17.5% of all registered voters in the state. Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) account for one quarter of New Yorkers and wield $148.5 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, the sales and receipts of businesses owned by Latinos and Asians totaled more than $68.7 billion and employed more than 310,000 people. New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in economic output. Not only is New York one of the most ethnically diverse states in the nation, but it is also a historic gateway for immigrants from virtually every part of the world. Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a political and economic powerhouse in New York.
Immigrants account for more than 1 in 5 New Yorkers.
- The foreign-born share of New York’s population rose from 15.9% in 1990, to 20.4% in 2000, to 22.2% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New York was home to 4,317,715 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of Los Angeles, California.
- 51.8% of immigrants (or 2,236,307 people) in New York were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011[vi]—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 3.2% of the state’s population (or 625,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 17.5% (or 1,480,072) of all registered voters in New York are “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.
Latinos and Asians comprise a powerful share of the New York electorate.
- The Latino share of New York’s population grew from 12.3% in 1990, to 15.1% in 2000, to 18% (or 3,496,401 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 3.8% in 1990, to 5.5% in 2000, to 7.4% (or 1,447,760 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos comprised 9.8% (or 743,000) of New York voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 3.3% (or 248,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In New York, 89.7% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 87.3% of children in Asian families in New York were U.S. citizens, as were 93.6% of children in Latino families.
Immigrants are essential to New York’s economy as workers and consumers.
- Immigrants comprised 27.3% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 2,712,129 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- “New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in economic output in New York State,” or 22.4% of the total New York State GDP as of 2006, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
- Immigrants accounted for 28% of total economic output in the New York metropolitan area as of 2007, according to another study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from New York in 2008, the state would lose $28.7 billion in economic activity, $12.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 137,013 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs to New York’s economy.
- The 2012 purchasing power of New York’s Latinos totaled $85.2 billion—an increase of 258.6% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $63.3 billion—an increase of 417.3% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- New York’s 196,825 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $50.5 billion and employed 224,576 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 193,183 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $18.2 billion and employed 86,329 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in New York paid $662.4 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
- $104.4 million in state income taxes.
- $94.9 million in property taxes.
- $463.1 million in sales taxes.
Immigrants are integral to New York’s economy as students.
- New York’s 82,391 foreign students contributed $2.6 billion 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 excel educationally.
- In New York, 32.7% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 24.4% of noncitizens.
- The number of immigrants in New York with a college degree increased by 41.9% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- In New York, 85.7% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- The English proficiency rate among Asian children in New York was 80.9%, while for Latino children it was 85.4%, as of 2009.