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Immigrants and the economy in:

Ohio

Today, Ohio is home to more than 480,000 foreign-born residents. Such immigrants serve as everything from builders to college professors, making them critical contributors to Ohio’s economic success. Immigrants also play a crucial role in the STEM and healthcare industries. Despite making up only 4.2 percent of Ohio’s population, immigrants represented 13.9 percent of all STEM workers in the state in 2014. Similarly, in 2016, more than one in four physicians in Ohio graduated from a foreign medical school, a likely sign they were born outside the United States.

  • Immigrant Residents

    480,868
  • Immigrant Share of Population

    4.2%
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2014)

    $4.5B
  • Immigrant Spending Power (2014)

    $11.1B
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    27,621
  • Employees at Immigrant-Owned Firms

    122,404

Demographics

In the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their U.S.-born counterparts. This allows them to contribute to the U.S. economy and to entitlement programs as they work and pay taxes. This is equally true in Ohio, where immigrants are far more likely to be of working age than the U.S.-born population.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-24 17.0% 32.9%
25-64 67.8% 51.6%
65+ 15.2% 15.5%

Entrepreneurship

In 2010, roughly one in 10 American workers with jobs at private firms were employed at immigrant-founded companies. Such businesses also generated more than $775 billion in annual business revenue that year. In Ohio, like the country as a whole, immigrants are currently punching far above their weight class as entrepreneurs. Foreign-born workers currently make up 6.7 percent of all entrepreneurs in the state, despite accounting for 4.2 percent of Ohio’s population.

People employed by immigrant-owned firms 122,404
Immigrant entrepreneurs 27,621
Business income of immigrant-owned firms $531.9M
Fortune 500 companies in Ohio founded by immigrants or their children 30.4%

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014 and contributed more than $104 billion in state and local taxes, as well as almost $224 billion in federal taxes. This left them with nearly $927 billion in spending power. Immigrants in Ohio play an important role contributing to the state’s economy, both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $15.6B
Taxes Paid $4.5B
State & Local Taxes $1.3B
Federal Taxes $3.1B
Total Spending Power $11.1B

Workforce

Nationally, immigrants are 17.2 percent more likely to hold an advanced degree than the native-born. They are also more likely to have less than a high school education. Uniquely, this allows them to fill critical shortages at both ends of the skill spectrum, from high-tech fields to agriculture, hospitality, and service industries. This holds true in Ohio, where immigrants play a particularly large role as software developers, doctors, and postsecondary teachers.

Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 17.3% 10.4%
High School & Some College 39.7% 64.0%
Bachelor's Degree 21.6% 16.3%
Graduate Degree 21.4% 9.3%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Computer systems design and related services  14.0%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, including junior colleges 11.8%
Traveler accommodation  11.3%
Clothing stores 9.5%
Services to buildings and dwellings  9.5%
Top Occupations with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Software developers, applications and systems software 31.2%
Physicians and Surgeons 28.5%
Postsecondary teachers 18.4%
Computer systems analysts 16.9%
Misc. agricultural workers, including animal breeders 15.7%

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Between 2014 and 2024, science, technology, engineering, and math—or “STEM”—fields are projected to play a key role in U.S. economic growth, adding almost 800,000 new jobs and growing 37.0 percent faster than the U.S. economy as a whole. Immigrants are already playing a huge part ensuring that Ohio remains a leading innovator in industries like aerospace, aviation, and automotive industries.

STEM workers who are immigrants 13.9%
STEM Master’s students who are foreign nationals 29.7%
STEM PhD students who are foreign nationals 45.1%

Healthcare

In the coming years, the American healthcare industry is projected to see rapid growth—adding more new positions from 2014 to 2024 than any other industry in our economy. In Ohio, a state where nearly one out of every 6 people is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge—and one that will likely worsen in the future.

Open healthcare jobs to unemployed healthcare workers 5:1
Doctors who were educated abroad 25.6%
Psychiatrists who were educated abroad 31.3%
Nurses who are foreign-born 3.7%
Health aides who are foreign-born 4.8%

Housing

Immigrant families have long played an important role helping to build housing wealth in the United States. In recent decades, the more than 40 million immigrants collectively in the country increased U.S. housing wealth by $3.7 trillion. Much of this was possible because immigrants moved into neighborhoods once in decline, helping to revitalize communities and make them more attractive to U.S.-born residents. In Ohio, immigrants are actively strengthening the state’s housing market.

Immigrant homeowners 109,522
Share of recent homebuyers who were foreign-born 4.9%
Housing wealth held by immigrant households $23.1B
Amount paid by immigrant-led households in rent $82.5M

International Students

International students in the United States contributed more than $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy in the 2014-2015 school year and supported more than 370,000 jobs through their tuition payments and day-to-day spending. Research has found that increases in the number of international students at American universities boost innovation and patent creation. International students represent a small portion of all students in Ohio, but they make a big impact.

Students at Ohio colleges and universities who are international 4.9%
Economic contribution of international students $935.9M
Jobs supported by international students 12,320

Voting Power

In 2014, Ohio was home to almost 221,000 foreign-born residents who were eligible to vote, including an estimated 133,000 foreign-born residents who had formally registered. Those numbers are particularly meaningful given the narrow margins of victory that have decided elections in this swing state in recent years. In 2012, President Barack Obama won Ohio by roughly 166,000 votes—a smaller vote tally than the current number of eligible immigrant voters in the state.

Immigrants eligible to vote 220,609
Immigrants registered to vote 133,143
Immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 252,817
2012 presidential election margin of victory 166,277

Undocumented Immigrants

The United States is currently home to an estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom have lived in the country for more than five years. The presence of so many undocumented immigrants for such a long time presents many legal and political challenges. But while politicians continue to debate what to do about illegal immigration without any resolution, millions of undocumented immigrants are actively working across the country, and collectively, these immigrants have a large impact on the U.S. economy. This is true in Ohio, where undocumented immigrants contribute tens of millions of dollars in taxes each year.

Undocumented immigrants 97,916
Share of undocumented immigrants, working age 75.8%
Undocumented entrepreneurs 4,726
Undocumented Household Income $1.5B
Taxes Paid $197.5M
State & Local Taxes $67.6M
Federal Taxes $129.9M
Total Spending Power $1.3B

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