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New Americans in South Dakota

South Dakota ThumbThe Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Mount Rushmore State (Updated May 2014)

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Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of South Dakota’s population and economy. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 2.7% of the state’s population, and roughly one-third of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants not only contribute to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for millions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $846 million in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $521.2 million and employed more than 4,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, South Dakota would be ill-advised to alienate a significant component of its tax base and business community.

Immigrants and their children are growing shares of South Dakota’s population.

  • The foreign-born share of South Dakota’s population rose from 1.1% in 1990, to 1.8% in 2000, to 2.7% in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. South Dakota was home to 22,015 immigrants in 2011.
  • 30.4% of immigrants (or 6,686 people) in South Dakota were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised less than 1% of the state’s population (or fewer than 10,000 people) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 1.3% (or 5,742) of registered voters in South Dakota 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.

Nearly 30,000 South Dakotans are Latino or Asian.

  • The Latino share of South Dakota’s population grew from 0.8% in 1990 to 1.4% in 2000, to 2.8% (or 22,899 people) in 2011. The Asian share of the population grew 0.4% in 1990, to 0.6% in 2000, to 1% (or 7,855 people) in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In South Dakota, 91.2% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 95.7% of children in Latino families in South Dakota were U.S. citizens.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to South Dakota’s economy.

  • The 2012 purchasing power of Latinos in South Dakota totaled $507 million—an increase of 1,079% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $339 million—an increase of 1,069% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • South Dakota’s 595 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $317.4 million and employed 1,206 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 452 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $203.8 million and employed 2,837 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Immigrants contribute to South Dakota’s economy as workers.

  • Immigrants comprised 3.3% of the state’s workforce in 2011 (or 14,371 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Unauthorized immigrants are important to South Dakota’s economy as workers and consumers.

  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised less than 1.5% of the state’s workforce (or fewer than 10,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from South Dakota, the state would lose $190.5 million in economic activity, $84.6 million in gross state product, and approximately 1,440 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes. 

  • Unauthorized immigrants in South Dakota paid $4.9 million in state and local taxes in 2010, including $4.7 million in sales taxes and $227,000 in property taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. 
  • Were unauthorized immigrants in South Dakota to have legal status, they would pay $5.2 million in state and local taxes, including $4.9 million in sales taxes and $236,000 in property taxes.

Immigrants are important to South Dakota’s economy as students.

Naturalized citizens excel educationally.

  • In South Dakota, 26.2% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree. At the same time, only 26.9% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 41.1% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in South Dakota with a college degree increased by 97.6% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In South Dakota, 88.4% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Latino children in South Dakota was 93.7%, as of 2009.

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