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New Americans in Missouri

Missouri ThumbThe Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Show Me State (Updated Updated May 2013)

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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and population in Missouri. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 4% of the state’s population, and 41.6% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 2.2% 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 $9.8 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $5.1 billion and employed more than 34,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, Missouri 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 Missouri’s population and electorate.

  • The foreign-born share of Missouri’s population rose from 1.6% in 1990, to 2.7% in 2000, to 4% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Missouri was home to 243,263 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • 41.6% of immigrants (or 101,137 people) in Missouri were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 0.9% of the state’s population (or 55,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 2.2% (or 70,929) of registered voters in Missouri 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.

More than 5% of Missourians are Latino or Asian.

  • The Latino share of Missouri’s population grew from 1.2% in 1990, to 2.1% in 2000, to 3.6% (or 216,372 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew from 0.8% in 1990, to 1.1% in 2000, to 1.6% (or 96,187 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos accounted for 0.7% (or 20,000) of Missouri voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 0.5% (14,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Missouri, 84% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 88.7% of children in Asian families in Missouri were U.S. citizens, as were 91.2% of children in Latino families.

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

  • The 2012 purchasing power of Latinos in Missouri totaled $4.9 billion—an increase of 574.7% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $4.9 billion—an increase of 684% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Missouri’s 9,752 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.7 billion and employed 25,336 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 6,178 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $1.4 billion and employed 9,520 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Immigrants are integral to Missouri’s economy as workers and taxpayers.

  • Immigrants comprised 5% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 152,898 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Immigrants accounted for 5% of total economic output in the St. Louis metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute. In fact, “immigrants contribute to the economy in direct relation to their share of the population. The economy of metro areas grows in tandem with the immigrant share of the labor force.”
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 1.3% of the state’s workforce (or 40,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • Unauthorized immigrants in Missouri paid $50.2 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
    • $11.2 million in state income taxes.
    • $3.4 million in property taxes.
    • $35.6 million in sales taxes.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Missouri, the state would lose $2.3 billion in economic activity, $1.0 billion in gross state product, and approximately 13,859 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Immigrants are integral to Missouri’s economy as students.

  • Missouri’s 16,061 foreign students contributed $417.9 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2011-2012 academic year, according to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Immigrants excel educationally.

  • In 2011, 34% of Missouri’s foreign-born population age 25 and older had a bachelor's or higher degree, compared to 25.7% of native-born persons.
  • The number of immigrants in Missouri with a college degree increased by 61.5% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Missouri, 83% 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 Missouri was 85.5%, while for Latino children it was 90%, as of 2009.

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