The state of Maine suffers demographic challenges, ranking annually as having one of the oldest populations in the nation. As our population ages, our work force is expected to decline.
Those demographics mean that Maine will need a large influx of people to meaningfully grow its population and work force. Yet we are largely missing out on the contributions of new arrivals, whose full participation in our economy is good for Maine and good for them. Immigrants help our economy grow.
I want to call attention to contributions new Americans are making in our great state and the local community. Here in Maine, our small immigrant population makes up approximately 3.5 percent of our work force, but 10.1 percent of advanced degree workers, 12.9 percent of physicians, and 25.3 percent of STEM graduates — an area of high demand and short supply.
From 2006-2010, there were 2,711 new immigrant business owners in Maine, generating a total of $120 million in net income and accounting for 3.3 percent of total net business income in the state. On a local level, the influx of Somali entrepreneurs to Lewiston in recent years has brought new energy and vitality to our downtown. Immigrant entrepreneurs are creating jobs and revenue.
Read the full story from the Sun Journal: “Changes in immigration law will help Maine”