U.S. Law Center

Census database informs study on immigrant entrepreneurs

Measuring statistics and providing real-time answers to economic questions has been difficult for researchers who are eager to contribute to the immigration debate in California and the rest of the country. Assessing the role that immigrants play in the U.S. workforce, and the economy, has involved analysis of a wide range of sources, and results often seem inconclusive. Gathering information from government databases may be a way to decipher some of the answers.

A husband and wife team has conducted their research by analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data, which indicates that the percentage of immigrant entrepreneurs was 28 percent in 2008, an 11 percent increase over 1995. The growth of firms begun by immigrants tends to be inferior for those who moved to the United States as adults, as opposed to those who came as children.

Roughly 15 percent of the U.S. population is made up of immigrants, but they represent about 24 percent of the entrepreneurs in the country, their study shows. The information comes from the Longitudinal Employer Household Database, and this collection of data includes details about employers and employees, and spans the years between 1992 and 2011. It is gathered from quarterly payroll filings at the state level, and includes 200 million Americans.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides many avenues for foreign nationals and their families to move to the United States. An attorney who is familiar with California and U.S. immigration laws may be able to help a person to determine which route would be the most effective and allow him or her to have the best chance of success in this country.

Source: Forbes, “One Quarter Of Entrepreneurs In The United States Are Immigrants,” Michael Blanding, Aug. 31, 2016

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