Thursday, November 13, 2008
A new study suggests immigrants are far more likely than non-immigrants to start and own businesses.
The study, released by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, uses U.S. Census data to determine just how much immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy.
The findings: The 1.5 million U.S. immigrant business owners comprise 12.5% of the 11.5 million U.S. business owners. By comparison, immigrants make up 12.2% of the total U.S. work force – “implying a higher business ownership rate than the U.S.-born rate,” the study says. About 9.7% of immigrants own businesses, compared with 9.5% of non-immigrants.
Immigrants start about 17% of the 484,000-some businesses created each month, and are 30% more likely than non-immigrants to start businesses each month. (Office of Advocacy senior economist Ying Lowrey said in a phone interview today that immigrants’ business formation rates tend to be so much higher than the U.S. born rates, even though their business ownership rates aren’t that high, because immigrants are more likely to drift in and out of entrepreneurship.)