June 14, 2012
The share of U.S. small businesses owned by immigrants has expanded by 50 percent since 1990, with almost one-fifth of business owners born outside the country, according to a new report (PDF) by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
The number of foreign-born business owners has increased in tandem with the immigrant workforce. Immigrants made up about 9 percent of workers in 1990 and 12 percent of business owners with fewer than 100 employees, according to the report, which analyzed U.S. Census data. In 2010, the foreign-born share of the workforce had grown to 16 percent, and immigrants made up 18 percent of small business owners.
“It’s gone from a modest size of business owners to a pretty substantial size of business owners,” says David Dyssegaard Kallick, a fellow at the institute who authored the report.