New Americans in North Dakota
The Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Peace Garden State
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of North Dakota’s population and economy. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 2.7% of the state’s population, and a third of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants not only contribute to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for millions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $984 million in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $171.8 million and employed more than 2,100 people at last count. As the economy continues to grow, North Dakota can ill-afford to alienate a significant component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.
Immigrants and their children are growing shares of North Dakota’s population.
- The foreign-born share of North Dakota’s population rose from 1.5% in 1990, to 1.9% in 2000, to 2.7% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. North Dakota was home to 18,569 immigrants in 2013.
- 35.2% of immigrants (or 6,542 people) in North Dakota were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised less than 0.3% of the state’s population (or fewer than 5,000 people) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 2% (or 7,805) of registered voters in North Dakota 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 the American Immigration Council.
Nearly 22,000 North Dakotans are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of North Dakota’s population grew from 0.7% in 1990, to 1.2% in 2000, to 2.4% (or 17,631 people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 0.5% in 1990, to 0.6% in 2000, to 1.3% (or 9,096 people) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In North Dakota, 80.9% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
Immigrant, Latino, and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to North Dakota’s economy.
- The 2014 purchasing power of Latinos in North Dakota totaled $528 million—an increase of 1,550% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $456 million—an increase of 1,040% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- North Dakota’s 287 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $20.5 million and employed 651 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 412 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $151.3 million and employed 1,469 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 381 new immigrant business owners in North Dakota, and new immigrant business owners had total net business income of $20.6 million (which is 1% of all net business income in the state), according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
- In 2010, 1.8% of all business owners in North Dakota were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.
Immigrants are important to North Dakota’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Immigrants comprised 2.9% of the state’s workforce in 2013 (or 11,181 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos in North Dakota paid $70 million in federal taxes and $26 million in state/local taxes in 2013 according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $19.3 million in federal taxes and $4.1 million in state/local taxes in 2013.
- The federal tax contribution of North Dakota Latino population included $48.7 million to Social Security and $11.4 million to Medicare in 2013. In particular, foreign-born Latinos contributed $6.8 million to Social Security and $1.6 million to Medicare in 2013.
Unauthorized immigrants contribute to North Dakota’s economy as workers and consumers.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 0.5% of the state’s workforce (or fewer than 5,000 workers) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from North Dakota, the state would lose $55.1 million in economic activity, $24.5 million in gross state product, and approximately 360 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in North Dakota paid $5.5 million in state and local taxes in 2012, which includes $4.3 million in sales taxes, $239,000 in personal income taxes, and $1 million in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in North Dakota to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay $6.4 million in state and local taxes, including $4.7 million in sales taxes, $525,000 in personal income taxes, and $1.1 million in property taxes.
Immigrants contribute to North Dakota’s economy as students.
- The number of immigrants in North Dakota with a college degree increased by 58.7% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- In 2011, 45.8% of North Dakota’s foreign-born population age 25 and older had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 25.8% of native-born persons above age 25.
- In North Dakota, 77.8% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.