As government officials, journalists, advocates, business leaders, essential workers, and concerned community members, we know that you are fighting to respond effectively and safely to the Covid-19 public health crisis. NAE is working to produce the latest estimates that show how immigrants are part of America’s fight and response to the Covid-19 health crisis.
We will be updating this page every week with new information on immigrants and Covid-19. Have questions? Reach out to us anytime and we’ll get back to you right away: firstname.lastname@example.org
View past NAE Immigration and Healthcare research reports here.
See a preview of more research to come here.
Learn more about local government efforts to include immigrants in Covid-19 emergency responses here.
See how you can support local immigrant-serving organizations here.
As 16.5% of all healthcare workers, immigrants are fighting on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis.
Immigrants of working age, many of whom are on the front lines of the pandemic, are making up for aging workforces in every state in the country. Explore the data in our latest data interactive.
Immigrants also make up significant shares of all:
- Home Health Aides (36.5% immigrant)
- Physicians (28.7%)
- Personal Care Aides (25.1%)
- Nursing Assistants (22.0%)
- Surgeons (19.7%)
- Registered Nurses (15.7%)
- Respiratory Therapists (13.6%)
- Psychiatrists (32%)
Source: NAE analysis of the AMA Masterfile, 2015 and the American Community Survey, 2018.
Selected Occupations in the Healthcare Industry
|Home Health Aides||274,620||157,592||432,212||36.5%|
|Personal Care Aides||434,675||145,350||580,025||25.1%|
|Clinical Laboratory Technicians||237,335||58,013||295,348||19.6%|
|Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses||638,380||111,462||749,842||14.9%|
|Emergency Medical Technicians||94,678||5,413||100,091||5.4%|
Immigrants are also working in critical support industries:
- Grocery and Supermarket workers (16.7% immigrant)
- Food Delivery workers (18.2% immigrant)
Immigrant women in particular are a critical part of the healthcare workforce:
- 1 in 5 Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
- 1 in 8 Registered Nurses
- 1 in 5 Personal Care Aides
Immigrant healthcare workers are more important than ever as the U.S. faces shortages in key sectors:
- In 2018, there were more than 27 open healthcare practitioner jobs for every available unemployed health care practitioner. Overall, there were almost 13 open healthcare job openings for every available unemployed healthcare worker.
- Rural areas were already experiencing doctor shortages before the crisis. As early as 2015, there were 135 counties in 27 states with no doctors in the United States. Doctors in rural counties were also far likelier to be older and closer to retirement, meaning the number of counties with no doctors in the future may rise significantly.
- More than 60 percent of all counties in the United States—including 80 percent of all rural counties—do not have a single psychiatrist.
Immigrants are helping make the supplies America needs to fight Covid-19:
Immigrants in Biomedical Manufacturing
|U.S.-born Workers||Immigrant Workers||Total Workers||Immigrant Share|
|Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing||400,994||132,307||533,301||24.8%|
|Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing||474,620||148,941||623,561||23.9%|
As the spread of the coronavirus has led to increased xenophobia, we are looking at the role of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the healthcare workforce:
Asian American and Pacific Islander Healthcare Workers by State AAPI Workers by Healthcare Occupation
Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Personal Care Aides
Home Health Aides
Asian American and Pacific Islander Healthcare Workers by State
AAPI Workers by Healthcare Occupation
NAE Immigrant and Healthcare Resources:
- Immigrants and Healthcare Issue Page
- Who Will Care for Our Seniors? Comparing the Gap Between Available Healthcare Workers and Open Healthcare Jobs
- A Helping Hand: How Immigrants Can Fill Home Health Aide Shortages in America’s Rural Communities
- Life Support: The Shortage of Physicians in America’s Rural Counties and How Foreign-Born Doctors can Help
- The Silent Shortage: How Immigration Can Help Address the Large and Growing Psychiatrist Shortage in the United States
- Based on an NYTimes analysis of the jobs most at-risk of contracting Covid-19, we’ll look further at how immigrants, especially the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers, are on the front line of this crisis.
- Aside from frontline healthcare workers, immigrants are critical to other essential industries as well. From biotech manufacturers and researchers, to restaurants, to grocers, to delivery services and logistics specialists, we’ll take a closer look at these industries and the role that immigrants play in each.
- Using Burning Glass Technologies data on job postings, NAE will regularly analyze in real-time how demand for healthcare and other technical and support jobs is increasing at a national and state level. Already, we know that there are far more job openings for healthcare practitioners than there are available workers (more than 27 openings for every 1 available worker). With health needs rising, demand is expected to soar.
- We’ll continue analyzing the role Asian Americans play in the healthcare industry and as healthcare practitioners and support workers.
- With a Supreme Court decision coming as early as next month, the future of DACA-eligible immigrants remains uncertain, even those who work in critical care roles and in industries that Americans rely on today. NAE will produce estimates nationally and for CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL showing how important DACA-eligible immigrants are for the economy and the health of the nation.