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New Americans in Indiana

Indiana ThumbThe Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Hoosier State (Updated May 2013)

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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and population in Indiana. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 4.7% of the state’s population, and more than one-third of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 1.9% of registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $12.6 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $5.1 billion and employed more than 39,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Indiana can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.

Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Indiana’s population and electorate.

  • The foreign-born share of Indiana’s population rose from 1.7% in 1990, to 3.1% in 2000, to 4.7% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Indiana was home to 307,194 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 35.1% of immigrants (or 107,751 people) in Indiana were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 1.8% of the state’s population (or 110,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 1.9% (or 58,988) of registered voters in Indiana were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.

Roughly 1 in 15 Hoosiers are Latino or Asian.

  • The Latino share of Indiana’s population grew from 1.8% in 1990, to 3.5% in 2000, to 6.1% (or 399,486 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 0.7% in 1990, to 1.0% in 2000, to 1.6% (or 102,695 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos accounted for 1.3% (or 36,000) of Indiana voters in the 2008 elections, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of Latino voters was greater than the margin of victory (28,391 votes) by which Barack Obama defeated John McCain in Indiana.
  • In Indiana, 86.8% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 84% of children in Asian families in Indiana were U.S. citizens, as were 91.3% of children in Latino families.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Indiana’s economy.

  • The 2012 purchasing power of Latinos in Indiana totaled $7.9 billion—an increase of 655.4% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $4.7 billion—an increase of 568.4% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Indiana’s 8,756 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.4 billion and employed 24,730 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 8,558 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $1.7 billion and employed 14,304 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Immigrants are integral to Indiana’s economy as taxpayers.

  • Immigrants in Indiana paid an estimated $2.1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes in 2007, according to a study by the Sagamore Institute, including:
    • $1.2 billion paid by naturalized U.S. citizens.
    • $901.7 million paid by authorized immigrants who were not U.S. citizens.
  • Unauthorized immigrants in Indiana paid $121.6 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
    • $28.7 million in state income taxes.
    • $8.3 million in property taxes.
    • $84.6 million in sales taxes.

Immigrants are integral to Indiana’s economy as workers.

  • Immigrants comprised 5.7% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 187,176 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 2.3% of the state’s workforce (or 70,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Indiana, the state would lose $2.8 billion in economic activity, $1.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 16,739 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Immigrants are integral to Indiana’s economy as students.

Naturalized citizens excel educationally.

  • In Indiana, 34.4% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 26.5% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in Indiana with a college degree increased by 61% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Indiana, 81.4% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Indiana was 86.4%, while for Latino children it was 83.8%, as of 2009.

Published On: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 | Download File