The Contributions of New Americans in Rhode Island

Though it is our nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island has become a destination of choice for many newly arrived immigrants over the past several decades. In 1990, immigrants represented 9.5 percent of the state’s total population. By 2010, that share had risen to 12.4 percent. Between 2010 and 2014, Rhode Island’s immigrant population grew by almost 7,000 people, increasing in size by 5.2 percent. In percentage terms, the growth in the state’s foreign-born population during that period was roughly in line with the increase in the number of immigrants living in the United States more broadly. Today, Rhode Island is home to almost 140,000 individuals who were born in another country. These new Americans serve as everything from software developers to entrepreneurs, making them critical contributors to Rhode Island’s economic success overall.

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