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New Report Says Immigrants Important Part Of Ohio, U.S. Economy

Feb 23, 2017

The nation's growing immigrant population is creating businesses, generating income and taxes and helping the economy, according to a report released this week. 

Jim Letizia has details.   

Ohio is home to more than 480 thousand foreign-born residents, with 151 thousand living in the Columbus area, according to the report by a bipartisan group of more than 500 mayors and business leaders. The group is called New American Economy, and its members support immigration reform to help create jobs.

The report shows immigrants can be found in every kind of job, and they play a crucial role in the fields of health care, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Immigrants represented 13.9 percent of all STEM workers in Ohio in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. Immigrants in Columbus are more likely to be between 25 and 64 years old than are U.S.-born residents. The report says this will help the economy continue to grow. Nationally, immigrants who graduate from college are 17.2 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than natives. A high number have a bachelor's degree or less, allowing them to take high- and low-end jobs that might otherwise remain unfilled by U.S.-born residents.

The report says immigrants make up 6.7 percent of Ohio's entrepreneurs. They generated nearly 532 million dollars in income in 2014. Ohio immigrants earned 15.6 billion dollars in 2014 and paid 4.4 billion in local, state and federal taxes.