The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 1:00 am

State 23rd in economic benefits of immigration

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Indiana is the middle of the pack among states when it comes to the economic benefits of immigration, according to a study released Tuesday by WalletHub.

The website ranks Indiana 23rd among all states and the District of Columbia for the economic impact of foreign-born residents.

WalletHub compared states on 23 metrics for immigrants, including median household income, jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses, share of STEM workforce, education level and home ownership rates.

States where immigration has the greatest economic benefits are, in order, New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. States where immigration has the least benefits are, in order, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and South Dakota.

Rankings for Indiana's neighbors are Illinois, 11th; Michigan, 15th; Ohio, 27th; and Kentucky, 32nd.

Indiana ranks eighth nationally for its share of international students and their economic contributions. But the Hoosier State ranks only 39th for socioeconomic contributions by immigrants.

Six immigration experts interviewed by WalletHub said immigration is an economic benefit to states.

“Every serious study of migrants in the U.S. determines that they are a great boost to our economy,” said James Walsh, a political scientist at the University of Colorado Denver.

“Without immigrant communities, many towns across the U.S. would be in serious economic trouble,” he went on to say.

“Immigrants pay taxes, commit few crimes in comparison to citizens, and bolster industries in need of labor, including elder care, food service, and construction.”

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