How Does Immigration Affect Our Economy?
Immigration and the US Economy
Did you know that the country with the highest number of immigrants globally is the U.S.? According to statistics taken as of 2021 November, the number of immigrants hit a new record of 46.2 million making this the largest number of migrants the U.S. has ever recorded in any census or survey dating back from 1850.
The large influx of immigrants into America has created a debate around this issue. However, despite the highly contentious debate around immigration, there are many benefits it has brought, especially to our economy.
Some of these benefits include:
Improving the American Workforce
It’s no secret that some of the most influential entrepreneurs today are either children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. A good example would be Sergey Brin, the founder of Google. He fled the Soviet Union as a young boy. Satya Nadella, the Microsoft CEO, emigrated from India. This list is endless.
In fact, according to statistics, more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies founded by 2010 were either founded by children of immigrants or immigrants. Some of these companies include Apple, AT&T, and Google.
Fortune 500 companies play a significant role in helping our economy grow. As of 2021, fortune 500 companies have generated $13.7 trillion in revenues. This amount represents two-thirds of our GDP.
This revenue contribution has not only led to the growth of the economy but also more employment opportunities.
Research has also shown that immigrants complement the American workforce rather than compete with them. This is due to their different educational backgrounds and skillsets. This difference ensures that another individual doesn’t have to lose theirs for you to get a job.
Helping Drive Economic Growth
The U.S needs immigrants to drive economic growth and stay competitive. One way to create employment around the world is by starting businesses. Most immigrants are entrepreneurs and innovators.
They are also consumers with vast spending power, which helps stimulate local business activity. In addition, according to New American Economy, immigrants contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in local, state, and federal income taxes.
Also, belt states primarily rely on immigration to revive their economies and stabilize their populations. And without immigration, there would be a 12.5% drop in economic growth. While that percentage may look small, it does come with negative implications. Among them is a significant decrease in jobs, at least 4.6 million jobs.
You cannot talk about the economy without touching the education sector of a country. Migrants showing up in the United States will, for the most part, have a broad scope of capacities and are capable in their space of work. According to late insights, fundamentally, 47% of individuals who move to the United States for a superior life are school graduates. Also, more than half of the college students pursuing STEM degrees are international students. Some of these students end up becoming entrepreneurs and innovators.
With every business that is created, the workforce not only becomes flexible; it also allows other companies to grow. Another benefit of having educated immigrants is that American companies can experience an increase in productivity by hiring individuals with new ideas and skillsets.
The backbone of any economy is the taxes the citizens contribute. Just like American citizens, immigrants also contribute to the economy on every front, including tax revenue. Studies have shown that immigrants have contributed billions of dollars to federal, local, and state taxes. These billions of tax dollars have helped fund our hospitals, schools, and emergency response services along with other essential services.
Immigrants also make considerable contributions to our social security. Another notable fact is that undocumented immigrants also make a considerable contribution to our economy.
According to statistics, undocumented immigrants contribute roughly $11.74 billion a year in local and state taxes. They also contribute to more than $7 billion in excise and sales taxes. Without these taxes, some of the developments we experience may not be possible.
The growth of any country’s economy is also dependent on the size of its population. And despite all the myths that America doesn’t need immigrants to increase its population, well, that isn’t true. According to statistics, between 2010 and 2020, the United States saw a drop in population growth since the 1930s.
Immigration helps to increase America’s population size. It also helps maintain a balanced working-age to senior rate ratio for our economy, which is vital for economic growth.
So, in the event that migration to the United States was to stop, this would mean stagnation in population growth.
Despite all the myths that have existed because of immigration, the fact remains that our economy does need immigrants to grow and flourish. And that is a role they will continue to play years from now.