I found an NPR article and podcast entitled Baltimore Says Immigrants Welcome. Baltimore shares the same plight as Cleveland: population loss. Two things impressed me.
1. Baltimore’s leaders, political and otherwise, decided the way to stem the population loss was to recruit immigrants. The Mayor, for example, set a goal of 10,000 new families within a decade (this is a late 2012 podcast and article, so very recent).
2. NPR interviewed a man who initially was considering going somewhere else after he arrived here. Word of mouth prevailed, other immigrants shared their stories with him about how welcoming Baltimore was, how freely he could live in the City. And he decided that was good enough for him. He stayed.
There is also an article about Philadelphia’s efforts to recruit immigrants as well, written in 2010. This NPR article updates me a bit by saying 2010 was the 1st year of real growth Philadelphia had seen in quite some time, and there was a major influx of Asians and Hispanic immigrants. (will do more research on the Philadelphia story for a later posting). But for now, here is a quote on Philly’s results, according to a worker from The Welcoming Center For New Pennsylvanians.
“The whole city was doing handsprings when the news came out from the Census Bureau about a year and a half ago that our population is growing again,” she says. “If it had not been for the growth in the city’s immigrant population, we would not have grown, we would have had another decade of population losses.”
According to this Harvard Medical Research Study, immigrants made contributions of 14.7% towards this hospital Trust Fund account in the years 2002 through 2009 and used only 7.9% of the monies. Alternatively, U.S. born citizens ran up a deficit of $30.9 billion. They did not add to the available monies in that Trust Fund.
Think about it. While our U.S. population is aging and using Medicare in all forms, immigrants who move here are younger and not using the health care system as much as the rest of us. If they stay here for 40 years they may wind up using more Medicare benefits. But that’s not the point.
What is the point? A constant influx of new immigrants will pay into the system and help deflect the usage by the rest of us. It’s not rocket science which is why it makes it possible to almost believe this study on face value. Most immigrants are not 50+ years old and looking for new adventures. They are a younger demographic looking to start a new life and career in a foreign land.
This colorful lion used to be trash and a creative artist in Nairobi turns debris (like flip flops) that washes up onto the shore, into these delightful creations. The company is called Ocean Soles and you can see more of what they make on the Ocean Sole website here.
Everyone envisions things for their own neighborhood. I want shops like this in mine. I read this article and immediately began wishing there was a way to not just get these items for sale here (that would be one way, yes). But why not take it a step farther and get the people who create them to come here, bring another Kenyan artist with them who would like to settle in, train some locals, stay and open up a shop here. It’s a template for new commerce, new immigrants who have wonderful things to offer to Cleveland which I would like to see repeated over and over again. In other words, create and repeat.
Have you ever wondered why we don’t see more statistical information on U.S. immigrants and where they work, live, and what kind of jobs they hold? How about ethnicity breakdowns on this kind of statistical information? The Fiscal Policy Institute says that type of information has only recently begun to be gathered and published.
My feeling is that until the 1940 Census Information was made public, it was probably harder to gather this information. Regardless of why, it’s great to know that this data is now becoming more researched and published.
This same group, The Fiscal Policy Institute, published a paper in June of 2012 (less than a year ago) that gives us a glimpse into the economy, immigrants, and the jobs they hold and create. This report deals with statistics gleaned from places that include the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Tracking. And they compare U.S. born stats with immigrant stats.
1. Small business owners, as of 2007, employed 35 million people. The average number of employees per small business is 13,49 for U.S. born owners and 11 for immigrant business owners
2. 30% of recent small business growth in the U.S. is immigrant driven.
3. What country did these small business owners come from? Most represented are Mexican (12%) then Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Cuban.
4. I found this interesting. While Southern European and Middle Eastern immigrants did not fall into the #3 category of ‘most’ in numbers, they are more likely small business owners. In other words, if there are 150 Middle Easterners or Southern Europeans in an area, the largest percentage of them will be small business owners. (These are not the only countries mentioned, just highlighting them).
5. Women small business owners are still lagging behind the men, but the gap is less between men and women immigrant owners than U.S. born men and women small business owners.
6. NY, Hawaii, Florida, NJ and CA have highest % of immigrant small business owners.
This pdf is full of wonderful graphs and spreadsheet style data. There was a study of similar metropolitan areas (top 25). Cleveland did not make the list ! Detroit is there (#12) and Pittsburgh (#22).
This report states that Cleveland and Cincinnati used to be on this top 25 list but we’ve fallen off, replaced by San Antonio and Sacramento.
Is this food for thought? Are we lagging and therefore finding ourselves stagnant in population growth? I suspect Detroit is in pretty much the same boat (though I have no empirical data to back this up!) but over the last five years I’ve read a lot about Pittsburgh and growth and how they have turned things around in many ways.
When you get a chance, please read this report, it’s fascinating to see what types of industries, what countries the business owners come from, and how the percentages compare (in economic contribution and hiring) to U.S. born small business owners.
Bringing all this home: my neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side is one of five or six than follow the path of Lorain Avenue up to the Fairview Park border, after starting in Ohio City. The City powers that be (like the Planning Dept. which developed a new Master Plan) know there is less population and a lot of vacant storefronts and small, older, mixed use buildings on Lorain. I know I would love more (meaning numbers and variety) business, eateries, shops in my neck of the woods and if there is a way to show that Cleveland (unlike some places!) is very immigrant friendly, we could find ourselves with some of the solutions to this vacancy problem.
What say you?
This is true, according to The Immigration Policy Center. If you are like me, you might find this interesting, and it falls under the title of New Americans In Ohio.
They also point out the recent census information shows since 1999, there has been a 47% increase in higher education levels reached by immigrants living here.
I thought I would start posting on this blog with the good stuff, the kind of data you don’t hear about, or read, amongst all the political haggling over the issue of immigration.
If you are also like me, you’d rather have data, stats that can tell us what’s really going on. The politics can be disenchanting (to be polite !) but the issue is a serious one. To my way of thinking, the above stats alone made me want to find out more.
I have questions and maybe you do too? What is the effect of the immigrant population on NE Ohio, and specifically, Cleveland? Ohio itself? Are there really jobs ‘going unfilled’ due to a lack of skilled workers applying to fill them ? Could immigrants fill these gaps and add to Cleveland’s/Ohio’s population? How do people feel about their experience of settling here? Why did they choose NE Ohio?
There may be states trying to keep them out, but I’m thinking our situation is different than other states. We need the population, the tax money, the jobs they could create, the positions they could fill that would keep industries here.
It made sense to share information rather than just gather it for myself. Thus, this blog. The side benefit is hearing from other people about their experiences, ideas and information sharing.
I’ll leave you with a quote excerpted from the New Americans In Ohio link I referenced above:
” Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) account for 1 in 20 Ohioans and wield nearly $18 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $9.1 billion and employed more than 63,000 people.”