Wall Street Journal
June 13, 2012
Immigrants are more inclined to own small businesses than native-born Americans and are increasingly opening shop in areas beyond the major cities in which they have traditionally settled, a trend that is energizing local economies and reshaping communities.
Immigrants accounted for 18% of the country’s 4.9 million small-business owners in 2010, a six-percentage-point increase from two decades earlier, according to analysis of census data by the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute. Immigrants, who represent 13% of the population, accounted for a third of the increase in the number of small-business owners between 1990 and 2010.
Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 100 employees. Small businesses owned by immigrants employed 4.7 million people in 2010 and generated an estimated $776 billion in revenue, according to FPI calculations.