New Americans in South Dakota
The Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Mount Rushmore State
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of South Dakota’s population and economy. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 2.9% of the state’s population, and roughly one-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 $1.1 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $521.2 million and employed more than 4,000 people at last count. As the economy continues to grow, South Dakota would be ill-advised to alienate a significant component of its tax base and business community.
Immigrants and their children are growing shares of South Dakota’s population.
- The foreign-born share of South Dakota’s population rose from 1.1% in 1990, to 1.8% in 2000, to 2.8% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. South Dakota was home to 23,507 immigrants in 2013.
- 34.9% of immigrants (or 8,215 people) in South Dakota were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 0.4% of the state’s population (or fewer than 5,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 1.3% (or 6,122) of registered voters in South 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 30,000 South Dakotans are Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of South Dakota’s population grew from 0.8% in 1990 to 1.4% in 2000, to 3.2% (or 27,186 people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 0.4% in 1990, to 0.6% in 2000, to 1.1% (or 9,105 people) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In South Dakota, 91.2% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009, 95.7% of children in Latino families in South Dakota were U.S. citizens.
Immigrant, Latino, and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to South Dakota’s economy.
- The 2014 purchasing power of Latinos in South Dakota totaled $660 million—an increase of 1,435% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $436 million—an increase of 1,403% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- South Dakota’s 595 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $317.4 million and employed 1,206 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 452 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $203.8 million and employed 2,837 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 606 new immigrant business owners in South Dakota, and new immigrant business owners had total net business income of $13 million (which is 0.5% of all net business income in the state), according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
- In 2010, 1.1% of all business owners in South Dakota were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.
Immigrants contribute to South Dakota’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Immigrants comprised 3.3% of the state’s workforce in 2013 (or 14,905 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos in South Dakota paid $90.5 million in federal taxes and $28.2 million in state/local taxes in 2013, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $22.9 million in federal taxes and $9.5 million in state/local taxes in 2013.
- The federal tax contribution of South Dakota’s Latino population included $58.5 million to Social Security and $13.7 million to Medicare in 2013. In particular, foreign-born Latinos contributed $16.7 million to Social Security and $3.9 million to Medicare in 2013.
Unauthorized immigrants are important to South Dakota’s economy as workers and consumers.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 0.6% of the state’s workforce (or fewer than 5,000 workers) in 2013, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from South Dakota, the state would lose $190.5 million in economic activity, $84.6 million in gross state product, and approximately 1,440 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in South Dakota paid $4.2 million in state and local taxes in 2012, including $3.3 million in sales taxes and $833,000 in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in South Dakota to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay $4.6 million in state and local taxes, including $3.7 million in sales taxes and $916,000 in property taxes.
Immigrants are important to South Dakota’s economy as students.
- South Dakota’s 1,560 foreign students contributed $27.4 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 also contribute to innovation in South Dakota. In 2009, “non-resident aliens” comprised 33% of master’s degrees and 48% of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy.
Naturalized citizens excel educationally.
- In South Dakota, 26.2% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree. At the same time, only 26.9% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 41.1% of noncitizens.
- The number of immigrants in South Dakota with a college degree increased by 97.6% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
- In South Dakota, 88.4% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
- The English proficiency rate among Latino children in South Dakota was 93.7%, as of 2009.