The Business of Immigrants – Continued


United States national immigration reform needs to take place so that those who will drive a stronger economy in the USA, immigrants, can do just that.

Imagine these statements were true:

I have no country to call my own.  Everything I knew no longer exists.  I have family that I may never see again.  I lived in constant fear in a refugee camp where those closest to me suffered the same as I.  I had no power, no resources, and no connections.  And now I am in a place where I am misunderstood and thought to be a stranger, an alien, and even a criminal.

Now, imagine these statements are true:

I live in a country with myriad resources.  I have access to education and programs that will help me start over.  I belong to a community where a capitalistic fervor blossoms and possibility presents like I could not have imagined.  I have a chance to make something from nothing.  I can start my own business.  I can innovate.  I can.

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Immigrant business greatly helps the U.S. economy grow.

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This graph, taken from R.W. Fairlie’s 2012 report “Open for Business. How Immigrants are Driving Small Business Creation in the United States,” shows that the percentage of new businesses for native-born versus immigrant Americans has an ever widening gap. The full report can be downloaded here.

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Immigrants constituted 12.9% of the population in 2011, starting 28 percent of new businesses, and native-born Americans, who constituted 87.1 percent of the population, started 72 percent of new businesses.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau and The World Bank, the U.S. population in 2011 was 311.7 million.


At 12.9 percent of the total population, New Americans have a total population of 40.2 million. The multiplier for the number of New American businesses started is 550 for every 100,000 people.  So, 40.2 million people multiplied by 550 businesses for every 100,000 people translates into over 221,000 new businesses.  If the total population of New Americans is divided by the number of new businesses they started, one in every 182 New Americans started a business in 2011.

Following the same process for Native-born Americans yields a less impressive number.  One in every 371 Native-born Americans started a business in the year 2011.

Certainly, this is just another way to say that New Americans were twice as likely to start a business in 2011 as Native-born Americans.

Statistics reportedly taken from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS), the 2007-2011 Current Population Survey (CPS), and the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO).

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Rabbit Trail / Side Note:

Many industries are affected by the American stance toward foreigners; the tourist/travel industry for example.

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