A new SBA Office of Advocacy sponsored report by Robert W. Fairlie examines the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Some of its findings are:
Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than are nonimmigrants, and they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States.
Immigrant business owners make significant contributions to business income, generating $67 billion of the $577 billion in U.S. business income, as estimated from 2000 U.S. Census data. They generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California—nearly $20 billion—and nearly one-fifth of business income in New York, Florida, and New Jersey.
Nearly 30 percent of all business owners in California are immigrants, compared with about 12.5 percent of the population of U.S. business owners. Twenty-five percent of business owners in New York and more than 20 percent in New Jersey, Florida, and Hawaii are foreign-born.
In California, immigrants are 34.2 percent of the new business owners each month. Nearly 30 percent of all new business owners per month in New York, Florida, and Texas are immigrants.
Immigrants own 11.2 percent of businesses with $100,000 or more in sales and 10.8 percent of businesses with employees.
Immigrants’ contributions differ across sectors of the economy. They own a large share—more than one-fifth—of businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry. They also contribute significantly to other services, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade.