Immigrants in Connecticut

October 13, 2017

Connecticut has a sizable community of immigrants, much of which hails from India and Poland. Nearly 15 percent of the state’s population was born in another country, and over 14 percent of residents are native-born Americans who have at least one immigrant parent. Immigrants support Connecticut’s economy across sectors, comprising more than 25 percent of all computer and math sciences employees and one third of residents working in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Connecticut’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

More than one in seven Connecticut residents is an immigrant, while another one in eight is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

  • In 2015, 519,648 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 14.5 percent of the state’s population.
  • Connecticut was home to 250,118 women, 236,720 men, and 32,810 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were India (6.6 percent of immigrants), Poland (6.4 percent), Jamaica (6.3 percent), the Dominican Republic (5.1 percent), and Mexico (4.8 percent).
  • In 2016, 480,001 people in Connecticut (13.5 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

Nearly half of all immigrants in Connecticut are naturalized U.S. citizens.

  • 253,505 (48.8 percent) immigrants had naturalized as of 2015, and 98,652 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
  • More than four in five immigrants (82.3 percent) reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants in Connecticut are distributed across the educational spectrum.

  • One in three adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while one in five had less than a high-school diploma.

Education Level

Share (%) of All Immigrants

Share (%) of All Natives

College degree or more

34.0

39.3

Some college

20.4

25.4

High school diploma only

25.8

27.8

Less than a high-school diploma

19.8

7.6

Nearly 60,000 U.S. citizens in Connecticut live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

  • 120,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 24 percent of the immigrant population and 3.4 percent of the total state population in 2014.
  • 143,784 people in Connecticut, including 47,220 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, 5 percent of children in the state were U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member (40,931 children in total).

Nearly 4,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in Connecticut.

  • As of 2016, half of DACA-eligible immigrants in Connecticut, or 5,676 people, had applied for DACA.
  • Another 2,000 residents of the state satisfied all but the educational requirements for DACA, and up to 2,000 others would be additionally eligible as they grew older.

One in six workers in Connecticut is an immigrant, together making up a significant part of the state’s labor force across industries.

  • 341,718 immigrant workers comprised 17.6 percent of the labor force in 2015.
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:

Industry

Number of Immigrant Workers

Health Care and Social Assistance

53,245

Manufacturing

46,357

Retail Trade

38,514

Construction

34,518

Educational Services

29,782

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:

Industry

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all industry workers)

Construction

26.3

Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services

24.8

Other Services (except Public Administration)

21.4

Manufacturing

20.6

Accommodation and Food Services

20.6

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

Immigrants are an integral part of the Connecticut workforce in a range of occupations.

  • In 2015, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Number of Immigrant Workers

Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance

34,020

Sales and Related

32,916

Management

31,764

Production

31,588

Construction and Extraction

31,506

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all workers in occupation)

Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance

36.6

Construction and Extraction

29.1

Production

28.6

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

26.9

Computer and Mathematical Sciences

26.5

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 4.7 percent of the state’s workforce in 2014.

Immigrants in Connecticut have contributed billions of dollars in taxes.

  • Immigrant-led households in the state paid $3.3 billion in federal taxes and $1.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
  • Undocumented immigrants in Connecticut paid an estimated $124.7 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to $145.3 million if they could receive legal status.
  • DACA recipients in Connecticut paid an estimated $17.6 million in state and local taxes in 2016.

As consumers, immigrants add billions of dollars to Connecticut’s economy.

  • Connecticut residents in immigrant-led households had $13.8 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Immigrant entrepreneurs represent nearly one in four Connecticut business owners.

  • More than 46,351 immigrant business owners accounted for 23.7 percent of all self-employed Connecticut residents in 2015 and generated $1.2 billion in business income.

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