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The Top 10 Things You Should Know About New York’s Demographic Changes and Immigration Politics

A Look at the State’s Emerging Communities of Color Before the Republican Primary

SOURCE: AP/Peter Morgan

The Statue of Liberty appears in the distance as immigrant rights activists walk on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Saturday, May 1, 2010.

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In advance of New York’s Republican primary tomorrow, here are 10 important facts about immigrants and people of color in the state that display their economic, cultural, and electoral power.

1. New York’s foreign-born population is growing quickly. Between 2000 and 2010 New York’s foreign-born population grew by 11.3 percent. And as of 2010 New York had the nation’s third-highest proportion of “newly arrived foreign born” (those who came to the United States in 2005 or later), and 10 percent of all newly arrived foreign-born residents in the nation.

2. Communities of color constitute an increasing share of the state’s population. The Latino share of New York’s population grew from 12.3 percent in 1990, to 15.1 percent in 2000, to 17.7 percent (or 3.4 million people) in 2010. And the Asian share of the population grew from 3.8 percent in 1990, to 5.5 percent in 2000, to 7.4 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

3. Children of color make up a substantial portion of New York’s youth population. Forty percent of New York’s child population are children of color, and 86 percent of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.

4. There are 1.6 million eligible Latino voters in New York with many more in the pipeline. This makes New York home to the fourth-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 950,000 New York residents were eligible to naturalize in 2010. These legal permanent residents—many of them Hispanic—can potentially become voters in the near future.

5. Fifty-two percent of immigrants (or 2.2 million people) in New York were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010—meaning that they are eligible to vote.

6. Immigrants are a significant part of New York’s workforce. Immigrants comprised 27.3 percent of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 2.7 million workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

7. People of color and immigrants contribute significantly to the state’s economic well-being. In 2009 New York City’s 69,000 immigrant small-business owners made up 48 percent of all small-business owners in the city. And in 2007 more than 30 percent of state businesses were owned by people of color, according to the U.S Census Bureau.

8. New York has one of the largest minority economic markets in the country. The state has some of the largest Hispanic, African American, and Asian American consumer markets at $81 billion, $91 billion, and $54 billion respectively, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

9. Removing unauthorized immigrants from the state would hurt the economy. If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from New York, the state would lose $29 billion in economic activity, $13 billion in gross state product, and approximately 137,000 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a Perryman Group report.

10. Immigrants pay a significant amount of state and local taxes in New York. In 2010 New York was ranked fourth in the country in terms of tax revenue collected from households headed by unauthorized immigrants. In that year unauthorized immigrants contributed a total of $662,439,624 to the state in taxes.

Vanessa Cárdenas is Director of Progress 2050 and Angela Maria Kelley is Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
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Radio: Chelsea Kiene
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