Immigrants in South Carolina, Host of Sixth GOP Debate

Tomorrow evening, the Republican candidates will meet for their sixth debate (#GopDebate) in North Charleston, South Carolina. Although just 4.8 percent of South Carolina’s population is foreign-born, the number of foreign-born individuals in the state has grown rapidly in recent years. Between 2000 and 2013, the foreign-born population in the state increased by almost 91 percent.

Before tuning in to Fox Business Network to watch the debate, learn a little bit about South Carolina’s immigrant population and their economic contributions to the state:


Immigrants own 6.7 percent of businesses in South Carolina, generating 5.3 percent of the state’s total business income: $521.9 million each year.


Immigrants support South Carolina’s manufacturing sector: between 2000 and 2010, immigrants created or preserved 4,322 manufacturing jobs in the state.


Immigrants play a critical role in South Carolina’s healthcare industry: in 2012, 14.3 percent of physicians in the state had graduated from a foreign medical school.

Contributions to entitlement programs

In 2013, foreign-born Hispanics in South Carolina contributed $198 million to Social Security and $46 million to Medicare.

These figures are just a sampling of the ways in which immigrants positively impact South Carolina’s economy and society. Learn more about immigration in South Carolina and across the country in our interactive map.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…