Immigrants love New York. And, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, immigrants have the greatest economic effect here, according to a new WalletHub report.

“Some of the reasons immigrants have the highest economic impact in New York include the third largest share of foreign-born workforce, over 27%, the largest percentage of jobs generated by immigrant owned businesses, and the second largest share of foreign-born business owners, over 25%. The state also has the second largest share of active physicians who are international medical graduates, 37%,” according to Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with Wallet Hub.

WalletHub compared the economic impact of foreign-born populations on the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It determined which states benefit the most—and least—from immigration using 23 indicators. New Jersey and California also ranked high on the list. But New York was at the top.

It’s because New York “foreign born population is almost 23%, second highest in the country, and more than 12% of its households are made up of second-generation immigrants. The percentage of income generated by immigrant households is over 25%, the highest in the nation,” according to the study.

New York also has a large number of international students and enjoys the brain gain and innovation brought by immigrants. Gonzalez said the economic factors included in the study were “the positive impact of immigration using metrics such as the number of work and H-1B visas, the economic contributions of international students and the share of foreign-born workforce.

Most experts, according to the study, view immigrants as a net plus.

“They revitalize cities. Their neighborhoods are low-crime. They fill many important jobs. Their taxes and social security contributions keep the systems afloat,” according to Alan Hyde, a professor at the Rutgers University Law School. “Their principal cost is public education since one-quarter of US schoolchildren are immigrants or their children. We educate children so that they will be even more productive than their parents, and this bet has historically paid off for immigrants with spectacular returns on investment in education.”

A Colorado academic agrees.

“Every serious study of immigrants in the U.S. determines that they are a great boost to our economy,” according to James Walsh, a senior instructor at the University of Colorado.

“Without immigrant communities, many towns across the U.S. would be in serious economic trouble,” he adds. “Immigrants pay taxes, commit few crimes in comparison to citizens, and bolster industries in need of labor, including elder care, food service, and construction.”

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Gregory Bresiger
Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent financial journalist from Queens, New York. His articles have appeared in publications such as Financial Planner Magazine and The New York Post. The eBook version of his latest book "MoneySense" is available now for Free Download by clicking HERE

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