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State economies most and least impacted by immigration

  • State economies most and least impacted by immigration

    The heated debate in the United States over immigration often raises questions about the economic value—or cost—of the nation's immigrants.

    Some policymakers blame foreign-born workers for taking coveted jobs and slowing wage growth. Others argue that immigrants in the workforce fuel innovation; bring education, skills, and specializations; and make significant contributions to economic productivity. They use their wages to buy consumer goods, services, houses, and businesses that create jobs for other workers.

    To look at which states benefit the most (and least) from immigration, Stacker looked at January 2020 rankings from WalletHub, a personal finance website, which compared the economic impact of foreign-born populations in the 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. To do so, WalletHub analyzed 23 indicators such as immigrants' household income, their homeownership, the job their businesses generate, and jobs created by the economic contributions of international students. Data sources used for WalletHub's rankings include the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, American Immigration Council, and Center for American Entrepreneurship. The rankings further look at states' shares of foreign-born workers, the number of work visas per capita, and income from immigrant-owned businesses.

    Using such factors, WalletHub measured how much states benefit from their immigrant populations, the socioeconomic contributions of foreign-born residents, the brain gain of skills and experience provided by highly educated immigrants, and the economic role played by international students. By taking these four general categories, ranking them, and weighing all of the indicators within them, WalletHub calculated a total score for every state.

    Keep reading to find out which state has benefited the most economically from its immigrant population and which state the least.

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  • #51. Mississippi

    - Total WalletHub score: 15.32

    - Immigrant workforce: #50
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 3.1% (37,889 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 251.64
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 1.6% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #48
    --- Immigrant population: 69,752 (2.3% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $46,442
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 13,518 (1.8% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.04% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #49
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 13.6% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #49
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 3,312
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $84.6 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 863

  • #50. Wyoming

    - Total WalletHub score: 17.88

    - Immigrant workforce: #49
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 4.2% (12,277 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 159.67
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.6% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #35
    --- Immigrant population: 20,276 (3.5% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $49,045
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 4,550 (2.8% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.02% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #51
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 12.8% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #45
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 1,033
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $25.8 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 211

  • #49. Idaho

    - Total WalletHub score: 20.38

    - Immigrant workforce: #45
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 8.0% (61,680 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 323.26
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.3% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #32
    --- Immigrant population: 100,996 (6.0% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $45,707
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 23,799 (5.6% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.08% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #50
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 10.6% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #42
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 3,429
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $82.8 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 762

  • #48. Montana

    - Total WalletHub score: 20.6

    - Immigrant workforce: #51
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 2.5% (12,522 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 162.13
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 1.7% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #36
    --- Immigrant population: 22,685 (2.2% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $50,240
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 5,530 (1.9% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.08% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #45
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 19.6% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #44
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 1,581
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $52.5 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 490

  • #47. South Dakota

    - Total WalletHub score: 21.18

    - Immigrant workforce: #44
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 4.1% (18,321 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 334.84
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 1.2% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #44
    --- Immigrant population: 30,112 (3.5% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $45,240
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 4,169 (1.8% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.01% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #48
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 13.9% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #40
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 2,064
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $45.4 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 320

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  • #46. Louisiana

    - Total WalletHub score: 21.61

    - Immigrant workforce: #41
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 5.6% (113,124 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 337.53
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.5% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #51
    --- Immigrant population: 193,205 (4.1% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $44,913
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 37,220 (3.3% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.05% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #35
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 14.4% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #41
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 7,428
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $264.9 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 2,996

  • #45. Maine

    - Total WalletHub score: 21.97

    - Immigrant workforce: #46
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 3.9% (25,716 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 326.45
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.1% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #37
    --- Immigrant population: 47,946 (3.6% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $49,550
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 11,684 (2.9% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.06% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #41
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 19.3% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #48
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 1,335
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $51.1 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 421

  • #44. South Carolina

    - Total WalletHub score: 22.32

    - Immigrant workforce: #43
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 6.4% (143,227 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 287.51
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.9% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #46
    --- Immigrant population: 240,439 (4.9% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $47,981
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 56,445 (4.3% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.06% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #40
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 16.2% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #47
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 6,064
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $205.9 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 2,071

  • #43. West Virginia

    - Total WalletHub score: 23.74

    - Immigrant workforce: #47
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 2.1% (15,495 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 78.51
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 1.5% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #47
    --- Immigrant population: 29,640 (1.6% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $51,616
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 6,768 (1.3% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.04% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #36
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 21.2% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #30
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 4,152
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $131.7 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 1,250

  • #42. Oklahoma

    - Total WalletHub score: 24.67

    - Immigrant workforce: #39
    --- Immigrant workforce 16+: 8.3% (145,763 of total workers)
    --- Work visas per capita: 155.99
    --- Jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses: 2.3% of total jobs

    - Socioeconomic contribution rank: #40
    --- Immigrant population: 234,536 (6.0% of total population)
    --- Immigrant median annual household income: $44,136
    --- Homes owned by immigrants: 51,021 (5.3% of total owned homes)
    --- Immigrant-owned businesses income: 0.05% of total business revenues

    - Brain gain & innovation rank: #43
    --- Immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 12.5% of immigrant population age 25+

    - International students rank: #37
    --- International students enrolled in 2018-2019: 7,935
    --- International student contribution to U.S. economy: $262.5 million
    --- Jobs created or supported by international students: 2,598

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