South Carolina Primary: Immigrants in the Palmetto State

This Saturday, Republicans in South Carolina will head to the polls to cast their primary votes. The Palmetto State is home to a small, but rapidly growing, foreign-born population. Although just 4.8 percent of the state’s population is foreign-born, this group grew by over 90 percent between 2000 and 2013.

In advance of the vote, learn about some of the ways that South Carolina’s immigrant population contributes to the state’s economy.


There are almost 12,000 immigrant-owned businesses in South Carolina, generating $521.9 million in income each year.


Between 2000 and 2010, immigrants created or preserved 4,322 manufacturing jobs in South Carolina.


In 2012, 14.3 percent of doctors in South Carolina had graduated from a foreign medical school.

STEM fields

Immigrants play a key role in the Palmetto State’s STEM fields: In 2013, 42.8 percent of STEM graduates from the state’s most-research intensive schools were foreign-born.

To learn more, check out our interactive map, which shows how immigrants impact state economies across the country.

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…