AIC: Immigration Strengthens Maryland Economy

In March, the American Immigration Council (AIC) – a nonpartisan Washington think tank – released a factsheet, summarizing the benefits of immigration to our national economy. We discussed the national-level data in a recent blog post, American Immigration Council: Immigrant Entrepreneurship and its Benefits [See MurthyBlog, 26.Mar.2014.], focusing on the gains in educational achievement, innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and urban revitalization that flow from immigration.

Although not every statistical measure is available for every jurisdiction, AIC’s state-by-state breakout clearly indicates that Maryland reaps substantial benefits from its immigrant population. Looking at educational achievement, AIC finds that foreign-born students are strongly represented in STEM programs at Maryland’s research universities: well over 26 percent of STEM grads, and more than 54 percent of engineering Ph.D. graduates in Maryland were born overseas, according 2009 statistics. [See Maryland: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Old Line State, American Immigration Council, 09.Jul.2013.]

Maryland also boasts an impressive rate of immigrant entrepreneurship, the AIC statistics show:

  • Here in Baltimore, home of the Murthy Law Firm, “the foreign-born share of business owners was 21 percent,” according to 2010 figures, and the rate of immigrant business ownership exceeded the foreign-born share of metro Baltimore’s population.
  • “From 2006 to 2010, there were 50,028 new immigrant business owners in Maryland, and in 2010, 21.2 percent of all business owners in Maryland were foreign-born.”
  • New immigrants business owners contributed $2.8 billion in total net business income to Maryland’s economy, in 2010 – more than 16 percent of the state total.
  • A Kauffman Foundation study indicates that around one-quarter of the technology and engineering companies started in Maryland, from 2006 to 2012, were started by immigrants.

The AIC factsheet also shows that immigrants are doing their part to help revitalize urban areas, especially in areas like South Baltimore and Southeast Baltimore, noting that the city government has been working to attract more immigrants “as part of the city’s growth strategy.”

In other words, immigration is having a profoundly positive impact on Maryland’s economy and society. It’s not just breathing new life into our urban centers; it’s helping Maryland to maintain a business climate that’s favorable to entrepreneurship and high-tech innovation. It’s also creating jobs for native-born Americans. For a case in point, look no further than the Murthy Law Firm. The 20th anniversary of our founding by Sheela Murthy, herself an immigrant from India, is next month. Now the employer of more than 80 people at the firm’s suburban Baltimore headquarters in Owings Mills – another immigrant success story, right here in Maryland!

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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.