IPC Statistics Show Immigrant Contributions to Maryland Economy and Society

Maryland is not just a great place to live, it’s a great place to do business: we have a high-tech workforce that’s second to none, with more Ph.D. scientists and engineers than any other state, outstanding universities and research institutions, and a top-ranked public education system. Median household income is consistently at or near the top, and our poverty rate is low: second lowest in the nation in 2011. [See Rankings, ChooseMaryland.org, Jun.2013.]

Maryland also ranks among the country’s most immigrant-friendly states. Mere coincidence? We think not. Consider some recent statistics from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), the public policy arm of the American Immigration Council (AIC), a leading nonpartisan think tank in Washington. IPC recently released state-by-state statistical summaries that clearly illustrate the political and economic impact of immigrants in several key jurisdictions, including Maryland. [See New Americans in Maryland, Immigration Policy Center, May.2013.] Among the findings:

• 811,701 immigrants called Maryland home in 2011, a number approaching the total population of San Francisco, CA. This is a sharp increase from 2007, when 694,590 immigrants lived here. [See New Americans in the Old Line State, MurthyBlog, 25.Jan.2010.]

• 1 in 7 Marylanders is Latino or Asian – up from 1 of 9 in 2007 – and their combined purchasing power in Maryland was $30.4 billion in 2012.

• Immigrants made up 18% of Maryland’s workforce in 2011, or 574,684 workers.

• Asian-owned businesses in Maryland had sales and receipts of $11.3 billion and employed 71,408 people in 2007, the most recent year for which these statistics are available.

• Among Maryland’s foreign-born, age 25 and older, 41% had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011.

• About 27 percent of all scientists in Maryland were foreign-born as of 2006, along with 21 percent of health care practitioners and 19 percent of mathematicians and computer scientists.

• Some 13,969 foreign students contributed $416 million to Maryland’s economy in the 2011-12 academic year.

• 45.9 percent of Maryland immigrants – 372,873 people – were naturalized U.S. citizens by 2011, and therefore eligible to vote.

AIC’s statistical snapshot is well worth perusing in its entirety, because it clearly shows the vital role immigrants play in making Maryland’s economy one of the strongest in the nation. It’s compelling reading for policymakers, business people, and anyone who wants a better understanding of the demographic trends that will shape Maryland’s future, and the future of our country. We also hope it will dispel some widely held misconceptions about immigrants, ideas that simply don’t square with the facts: that immigration and prosperity go hand in hand!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.