Contributions by California’s Immigrants

(KTSF by Michelle Yue)

The California Immigrant Policy Center, a nonprofit organization today released a new report detailing California immigrants’ contributions to the state.  The report shows that immigrants produce 34% of the state’s GDP – more than $600 billion annually.

“The report shows that Immigrant workers are the backbone of key industries in California; they are innovators, entrepreneurs, active community members, community leaders,” said Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “Based on the data, I can say immigrants bring vitality to California, making it the diverse and innovative global state that it is.”

The report was authored by researchers at the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. The report entitled “Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State” is based on statistics from two federal agencies, the American Community Survey and the Office of Immigrant Statistics.

Key findings from the study include:

Nearly one quarter of our state’s population, or 9.9 million Californians are immigrants, of these 45% are U.S. citizens.

Immigrants produce 34% of the state’s GDP – more than $600 billion annually. With more experience in the U.S., their economic contributions grow.

Immigrants are one-third of the state’s labor force; they are more likely to be entrepreneurial and create their own jobs. More than 1 out every 5 immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher are working in an unskilled job.

Immigrant households make up 27% of the total household income in California and thus represent a substantial share of all spending.

Immigrants make up 38% of all residents holding a Ph.D. degree in California.

By 2015, immigrants eligible to naturalize and the already naturalized could represent as much as 35% of California’s electorate.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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