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Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Washington’s population and electorate.
- The foreign-born share of Washington’s population rose from 6.6% in 1990 , to 10.4% in 2000 , to 13.1% in 2010 , according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Washington was home to 886,262 immigrants in 2010 , which is more than the total population of San Francisco, California .
- 45.5% of immigrants (or 403,280 people) in Washington were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010 —meaning that they are eligible to vote.
- 9.4% (or 310,067) of registered voters in Washington 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 1 in 5 Washingtonians are Latino or Asian—and they vote.
- The Latino share of Washington’s population grew from 4.4% in 1990 , to 7.5% in 2000 , to 11.3% (or 762,128 people) in 2010 . The Asian share of the population grew from 4.0% in 1990 , to 5.5% in 2000 , to 7.2% (or 485,604 people) in 2010 , according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Latinos accounted for 4.8% (or 148,000) of Washington voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 4.3% (132,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau .
- In Washington, 86.5% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009 , according to data from the Urban Institute.
- In 2009 , 89.8% of children in Asian families in Washington were U.S. citizens, as were 92% of children in Latino families.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Washington’s economy.
- The 2010 purchasing power of Asians in Washington totaled $18 billion—an increase of 506.8% since 1990. Latino buying power totaled $14.6 billion—an increase of 621.3% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth  at the University of Georgia.
- Washington’s 37,373 Asian-owned  businesses had sales and receipts of $12.3 billion and employed 71,421 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 17,795 Latino-owned  businesses had sales and receipts of $9.7 billion and employed 23,051 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
Immigrants are integral to Washington’s economy as workers and taxpayers.
- Immigrants comprised 15.9% of the state’s workforce in 2010  (or 556,133 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Immigrants contributed $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the Washington state economy in 2007 , accounting for 13.2% of all taxes paid in the state, according to a 2009 study by OneAmerica.
- Immigrants accounted for 16% of total economic output in the Seattle metropolitan area as of 2007 , according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 5.1% of the state’s workforce (or 190,000 workers) in 2010 , according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Washington, the state would lose $14.5 billion in economic activity, $6.4 billion in gross state product, and approximately 71,197 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group .
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Washington paid $327.7 million in state and local taxes in 2010 , according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
- $22.7 million in property taxes.
- $305 million in sales taxes.
Immigrants are integral to Washington’s economy as students.
- Washington’s 16,449 foreign students contributed $412.1 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2009-2010 academic year, according to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators  (NAFSA).
Naturalized citizens excel educationally.
- In Washington, 34.8% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009  had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 27.9% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 18.2% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 36.2% of noncitizens.
- The number of immigrants in Washington with a college degree increased by 66.4% between 2000 and 2009, according to data  from the Migration Policy Institute.
- In Washington, 79.8% 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 Washington was 87.9%, while for Latino children it was 79.2%, as of 2009 .
Published On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 | Download File