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New Americans in Minnesota

Minnesota ThumbThe Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the North Star State (Updated May 2013)

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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the economy and population in Minnesota. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 7.3% of the state’s population, and 45.9% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 4.3% of all registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for tens of million of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $13.8 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $4 billion and employed more than 22,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Minnesota 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 Minnesota’s population and electorate.

  • The foreign-born share of Minnesota’s population rose from 2.6% in 1990, to 5.3% in 2000, to 7.3% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Minnesota was home to 388,839 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 45.9% of immigrants (or 178,569 people) in Minnesota were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 1.6% of the state’s population (or 85,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 4.3% (or 126,034) of registered voters in Minnesota 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 11 Minnesotans are Latino or Asian.

  • The Latino share of Minnesota’s population grew from 1.2% in 1990, to 2.9% in 2000, to 4.8% (or 257,186 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 1.8% in 1990, to 2.9% in 2000, to 4.0% (or 216,270 people) in 2011,[xiv] according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Asians comprised 2.0% (or 56,000) of Minnesota voters in the 2008 elections, and Latinos accounted for 1.3% (or 35,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Minnesota, 86.3% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 88.3% of children in Asian families in Minnesota were U.S. citizens, as were 90.3% of children in Latino families.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Minnesota’s economy.

  • The 2012 purchasing power of Minnesota’s Asians totaled $8.4 billion—an increase of 994% since 1990. Latino buying power totaled $5.4 billion—an increase of 965% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Minnesota’s 11,371 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $2.4 billion and employed 16,950 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available.  The state’s 5,002 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $1.6 billion and employed 5,970 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Minnesota’s diverse immigrant population adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy.

  • In the Twin Cities metro area, 138 immigrant-owned businesses created 386 new jobs and spent $5.6 million on payroll, rent, and supplies in 2002, according to a study from the University of Minnesota.
  • More than 1,000 Mexican-American businesses operated in Minnesota, generating an estimated $200 million in sales; while Latino workers employed in south-central agricultural industries added nearly $25 million to the local economy, according to a 2004 report by the Minneapolis Foundation.
  • More than 16,000 Asian-Indians living in Minnesota accounted for $500 million in consumer purchasing power, paid $5.2 million in real estate taxes and $2.3 million in rent, and owned 400 companies that employed more than 6,000 people, according to the same report.
  • Minnesota was home to 60,000 Hmong, whose businesses generated an estimated $100 million in revenue, according to the same report.
  • Minnesota is home to the country’s largest Somali population, which numbered roughly 15,000 people as of 2002. Somalis in Minnesota accounted for $164 million in buying power and owned 600 businesses as of 2006.

Immigrants are integral to Minnesota’s economy as workers.

  • Immigrants comprised 8.6% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 254,573 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Immigrants accounted for 8% of total economic output in the Minneapolis metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 2.1% of the state’s workforce (or 60,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Minnesota, the state would lose $4.4 billion in economic activity, $2.0 billion in gross state product, and approximately 24,299 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.

  • Unauthorized immigrants in Minnesota paid $81.7 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
    • $15.6 million in state income taxes.
    • $7.6 million in property taxes.
    • $58.4 million in sales taxes.

Immigrants are integral to Minnesota’s economy as students.

  • Minnesota’s 12,735 foreign students contributed $319.2 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2011-2012 academic year, according to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Naturalized citizens excel educationally.

  • In Minnesota, 33.2% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 29.4% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 20.6% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 33% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in Minnesota with a college degree increased by 82.3% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Minnesota, 79.1% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Minnesota was 74%, while for Latino children it was 84.8%, as of 2009.

 

Published On: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 | Download File