Immigrants in Wisconsin, Site of Tonight’s GOP Debate

Tonight, the Republican candidates will face off for the fourth GOP presidential debate (#GOPDebate) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ahead of the debate, here are a few facts about Wisconsin’s immigrant population.

While the state’s immigrant community is relatively small — just 4.6 percent of the state’s population is foreign-born — this group grew by almost 41 percent between 2000 and 2013. And, in cities across the state, immigrants are helping to grow the economy and create jobs in vital sectors, such as housing, manufacturing, and healthcare, among others. Below is a brief snapshot of some of these economic contributions to the state.


In 2010, the 10,342 immigrant business owners in Wisconsin brought in $589 million in annual income. Furthermore, immigrants or their children founded some of the state’s most prominent companies, including Kohl’s, Oshkosh, American Family Mutual Insurance, Manpower, and Harley-Davidson. Together, these five companies employ over 200,000 people and bring in more than $60 billion in annual revenue.


Immigration has been shown to boost U.S. home values. Between 2000 and 2010 in Wisconsin, the value added by immigration to the price of the average home was $1,936 in Milwaukee County; $979 in Dane Country; and $454 in Waukesha County.


Immigrants who arrived to the state between 2000 and 2010 created or preserved 3,127 manufacturing jobs.


In 2012, 18.4 percent of Wisconsin’s doctors had graduated from an international medical school.

These figures capture only a glimpse of the positive economic impacts immigrants have had in Wisconsin. To learn more — and get the facts about immigration in other states — check out NAE’s interactive map, and be sure to follow along with us tonight as we live-tweet the debate!

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…