When it comes to the economic contribution of immigrants, starting a business plays a growing role in the Baltimore area, according to recently released data.
The number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the Baltimore metro area grew 18% from 2016 to 2017, according to The New America Economy (NAE), a New York-based research and advocacy organization. Its data shows that in all, Baltimore has 23,885 immigrant entrepreneurs, which means that the population of foreign-born people who moved to the U.S. from other countries are “crucial job creators,” NAE reports. When it comes to cross-population comparisons, the data indicates that immigrants are 57% more likely to be entrepreneurs than U.S.-born residents.
“As Baltimore continues to grow, the local small business sector will be critical to this economic prosperity,” said Kate Brick, NAE’s director of state and local initiatives, in a statement. “Immigrants will continue to play an outsized role in this growth as they start new businesses and support the local economy through consumer spending.”
A few more data points looked at the overall economic contribution of immigrants in the area for 2017:
- In all, the area has more than 305,000 immigrant residents, making up about 11% of the population.
- In educational attainment, 23.8% of that population had a bachelor’s degree, while 24% had a graduate degree.
- As consumers, immigrants held more than $8.7 billion in spending power, which represented a $400 million increase over 2016, according to NAE.
NAE crunched the numbers as part of a nationwide look at immigrant contributions from NAE called Map the Impact. It also breaks down data by state and congressional district, so find more Maryland numbers available here.
Policymakers have seen welcoming immigrants as a key to growing Baltimore. During her term, former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake actively recruited immigrants to the area, and current Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young recently reaffirmed the city’s position as a welcoming city.