Cincinnati is one of the most immigrant-friendly cities in the U.S., according to a new study.
The Queen City ranked No. 18 out of 100 U.S. cities in the latest index by New American Economy (NAE), a New York-based research and advocacy coalition. The index scores the country’s largest metro areas on a 1-5 scale based on several factors, including job opportunities, legal support and livability.
Cincinnati received a 3.48 composite score. It earned a perfect score on civic participation, which reflects the percentage of naturalized citizens among eligible immigrants, as well as public-sector, social-sector and military service workers.
The coalition credited the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, among other local organizations, for its efforts to attract and retain foreign-born talent.
The city’s lowest score was a 2 out of 5 on inclusivity, which is determined by municipal policies that influence hiring practices, zoning ordinances, access to community colleges and social services, among others.
According to the report, Cincinnati is the top major city in Ohio for immigrants and the third-highest scoring city in the Midwest. Other Ohio cities that made the list include Cleveland at No. 64, Columbus at No. 70 and Toledo at No. 82.
NAE plans to update the report annually to track developments in municipal and socioeconomic policies.
Best city for new citizens?
The index comes on the heels of a similar study by Boundless, a Seattle-based immigration services organization, which ranked Cincinnati No. 8 on its list of the best cities in the U.S. for immigrants seeking citizenship.
That study, which relied on data collected between July and December 2018, scored cities on the following factors:
- Backlog completion (total applications filed, processed and backlogged)
- Median wait time
- Distance to field office
Cincinnati received an overall score of 86. Cleveland topped the list, earning a composite score of 95 for its low median wait times and high backlog completion.