New Americans in Pennsylvania
Download the Fact Sheet (Updated 2014)
Download the Previous Fact Sheet (From 2010)
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the economy and population in the electoral swing state of Pennsylvania. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 5.9% of the state’s population, and over half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 4.5% of all registered voters in the state. Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) account for more than 8% of all Pennsylvanians and wield $33 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $14.8 billion and employed more than 73,000 people. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania’s population and electorate.
- The foreign-born share of Pennsylvania’s population rose from 3.1% in 1990, to 4.1% in 2000, to 5.9% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Pennsylvania was home to 756,410 immigrants in 2011, which is nearly the total population of Columbus, Ohio.
- 52.3% of immigrants (or 395,879 people) in Pennsylvania were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 1.3% of the state’s population in 2010 (or 160,000 people), according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 4.5% (or 290,283) of all registered voters in Pennsylvania were “New Americans”—immigrants or the children of immigrants—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.
Roughly 1 in 12 Pennsylvanians are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of Pennsylvania’s population grew from 2.0% in 1990, to 3.2% in 2000, to 5.9% (or 751,430 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 1.1% in 1990, to 1.8% in 2000, to 2.8% (or 358,168 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos comprised 2.8% (or 161,000) of Pennsylvania voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians about one-half of one percent (or 31,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Pennsylvania, 86.9% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 87.6% of children in Asian families in Pennsylvania were U.S. citizens, as were 95.2% of children in Latino families.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Pennsylvania’s economy.
- The 2012 purchasing power of Pennsylvania’s Latinos totaled $16.1 billion—an increase of 665% since 1990. Asian buying power also totaled $16.9 billion—an increase of 648% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- Pennsylvania’s 31,313 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $11.6 billion and employed 58,506 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 22,777 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.2 billion and employed 15,362 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
Immigrants are essential to Pennsylvania’s economy as workers.
- Immigrants comprised 7.1% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 457,910 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Immigrants accounted for nearly three-quarters of labor-force growth in Philadelphia between 2000 and 2006, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.
- Immigrants accounted for 10% of total economic output in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and 4% of economic output in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 1.7% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 110,000 workers), according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Pennsylvania, the state would lose $5.3 billion in economic activity, $2.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 27,718 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Pennsylvania paid $149 million in state and local taxes in 2010, including $95.3 million in sales taxes, $45.5 million in state income taxes, and $8.2 million in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in Pennsylvania to have legal status, they would pay $212.9 million in state and local taxes, including $101 million in sales taxes, $103 million in state income taxes, and $9 million in property taxes.
Immigrants are integral to Pennsylvania’s economy as students.
- Pennsylvania’s 33,398 foreign students contributed $1.1 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.
Immigrants in Pennsylvania excel educationally.
- The number of immigrants in Pennsylvania with a college degree increased by 58.9% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- 35.1% of Pennsylvania’s foreign-born population age 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011, compared to 26.3% of native-born persons age 25 and older.
- In Pennsylvania, 88% 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 Pennsylvania was 88%, while for Latino children it was 87.5%, as of 2009.
Published On: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 | Download File
Fifty for Fairness
The government’s failure to provide legal representation to children deprives them of a fair hearing and violates both the U.S. Constitution and immigration laws. Join our Fifty for Fairness campaign and help us continue our work as the immigration watchdog.
In The News
Read Our Blog
Read the latest in immigration news at ImmigrationImpact.com, with new articles published every weekday.