New Americans in Maryland
The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Old Line State
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and electorate in Maryland. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up roughly 1 in 7 Marylanders, and nearly half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for about 1 in 8 registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $34.2 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $15.6 billion and employed more than 96,000 people at last count. As high-skilled workers, immigrants accounted for more than one-quarter of all scientists in the state, and more than one-fifth of all health care practitioners. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs are integral to Maryland’s economy and tax base—and they are an electoral force with which every politician must reckon.
Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Maryland’s population and electorate.
- The foreign-born share of Maryland’s population rose from 6.6% in 1990, to 9.8% in 2000, to 14.2% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Maryland was home to 842,250 immigrants in 2013, which is more than the population of San Francisco, California.
- 49.9% of immigrants (or 420,344 people) in Maryland were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 4.3% of the state’s population (or 250,000 people) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 12.2% (or 351,225) of registered voters in Maryland 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 2012 Census Bureau data by American Immigration Council.
Roughly 1 in 7 Marylanders are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of Maryland’s population grew from 2.6% in 1990, to 4.3% in 2000, to 9% (or 531,749 people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.9% in 1990, to 4.0% in 2000, to 6% (or 354,430 people) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos accounted for 3.9% (or 103,000) of Maryland voters in the 2012 elections, and Asians 2.5% (66,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Maryland, 87.1% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 85.1% of children in Asian families in Maryland were U.S. citizens, as were 89.6% of children in Latino families.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Maryland’s economy.
- The 2014 purchasing power of Latinos in Maryland totaled $15.2 billion—an increase of 750% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $19 billion—an increase of 651% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- Immigration boosts housing values in communities. From 2000 to 2010, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, the value added by immigration to the price of the average home was $6,969 in Montgomery County; $6,422 in Prince George’s County; $3,285 in Baltimore County; $1,616 in Baltimore City; and $1,917 in Anne Arundel County.
- Maryland’s 35,881 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $11.3 billion and employed 71,408 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 25,774 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $4.3 billion and employed 25,019 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 50,028 new immigrant business owners in Maryland, and they had total net business income of $2.8 billion, which makes up 16.3% of all net business income in the state, according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
- In 2010, 20.9% of all business owners in Maryland were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. In 2013, 18.2% of business owners in the Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Furthermore, 40.4% of “Main Street” business owners—owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors—in the Baltimore-Towson metro area were foreign-born in 2013.
Immigrants are integral to Maryland’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Immigrants comprised 18.2% of the state’s workforce in 2013 (or 593,317 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Immigrants accounted for 9% of total economic output in the Baltimore metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 6.2% of the state’s workforce (or 200,000 workers) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- Immigrants were 1 in 3 workers in Montgomery County, 1 in 4 workers in Prince George’s County, and 1 in 5 workers in Howard County in 2006, according a study by the Urban Institute.
- Roughly 27% of all scientists in Maryland were foreign-born in 2006, as were 21% of health-care practitioners, and 19% of mathematicians and computer specialists, according to the same study.
- Immigrant households paid 18% (or $4.0 billion) of all taxes collected in Maryland in 2000, according to a study by the Urban Institute. This included:
- $2.9 billion in federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.
- $562 million in state income, sales, and auto taxes.
- $536 million in local property, income, sales, auto, and utility taxes.
- Latinos in Maryland paid $1.9 billion in federal taxes and $984 million in state/local taxes in 2013, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $1.1 billion in federal taxes and $621 million in state/local taxes.
- The federal tax contribution of Maryland’s Latino population included $1.4 billion to Social Security and $320 million to Medicare in 2013. Foreign-born Latinos contributed $852 million to Social Security and $199 million to Medicare that year.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Maryland, the state would lose $15.3 billion in economic activity, $6.8 billion in gross state product, and approximately 73,267 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Maryland paid $293.8 million in state and local taxes in 2012, which includes $147.3 million in sales taxes, $68.1 million in personal income taxes, and $78.4 million in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in Maryland to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay $375.9 million in state and local taxes, including $162 million in sales taxes, $127.6 million in personal income taxes, and $86.3 million in property taxes.
Immigrants are integral to Maryland’s economy as students.
- Maryland’s 16,121 foreign students contributed $483.5 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
- Foreign students contribute to Maryland’s metropolitan areas. From 2008 to 2012, according to the Brookings Institution, 9,750 foreign students paid $244 million in tuition and $148 million in living costs in the Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area.
- Foreign students also contribute to innovation in Maryland. In 2009, “non-resident aliens” comprised 18.4% of master’s degrees and 44.8% of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy.
Immigrants excel educationally.
- In Maryland, 49% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 32.9% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 11.7% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 30.7% of noncitizens.
- The number of immigrants in Maryland with a college degree increased by 69.1% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- 41% of Maryland’s foreign-born population age 25 and older had a bachelor’s or higher degree in 2011, compared to 36% of native-born persons age 25 and older.
- In Maryland, 87.1% 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 Maryland was 85%, while for Latino children it was 84.5%, as of 2009.