New American Economy released a report detailing the outsized role immigrants play as entrepreneurs in the U.S. economy. In 2014, America’s foreign-born population owned close to three million businesses, generating over $65 billion in business income.
The report draws on the American Community Survey, the Survey of Small Business Owners, and other publicly available data sources to shed light on the real and meaningful role immigrants have played founding American companies in recent years. It reveals that in 2014, 19.1 percent of entrepreneurs in the United States hailed from the Middle East and North Africa, while the national rate of entrepreneurship among working Americans was 9.5 percent.
- The United States is currently home to more than 2.9 million foreign-born entrepreneurs, a group whose companies generated $65.5 billion in business income in 2014 alone. That year, immigrants made up 20.6 percent of all entrepreneurs in the country, despite representing 13.2 percent of the U.S. population overall.
- Businesses owned by immigrants employed more than 5.9 million workers in 2007, the most recent year for which figures are available. In some states, the employment impact of immigrants was particularly pronounced: Almost 1.5 million California residents had jobs at immigrant owned firms in 2007, as did more than half a million Floridians. In 16 states—including Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas—more than 100,000 people were employed at companies with immigrant owners.
- In 2016, 40.2 percent of firms on the Fortune 500 list had at least one founder who either immigrated to the United States or was the child of immigrants. Those firms generated more than $4.8 trillion in revenue in 2014 and employed 18.9 million people globally.
- In 2014, 19.1 percent of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa were entrepreneurs. Similarly, 11.1 percent of foreign-born Hispanics were self-employed, as were 10.6 percent of Asian immigrants. The national rate of entrepreneurship among working Americans was 9.5 percent that year.
Read the full report here.