Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the stories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens and their families who have come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the immigrant workers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries that come to the United States to make it a more diverse and dynamic place to live. While some areas, such as Miami, have a larger day to day immersion of Hispanic heritage, the Latino immigrant footprint runs through communities large and small in America.
Hispanic impact on the U.S. economy
The U.S. population grew by 22.7 million from 2010 to 2020, and Hispanics accounted for 51% of this increase, a greater share than any other racial or ethnic group. Also, data shows that Hispanic Americans paid more than $250 billion in taxes in 2017 alone.
On top of that, Hispanic immigrants are hard workers, filling vital roles in communities in industries such as agriculture, construction, and healthcare. While some Hispanic workers are hired by employers, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Latino immigrants, and they start and own their own businesses at higher rates than the rest of the population. There were a total of almost 2.3 million Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States in 2017.
The economic impact by Latino immigrants is most visible in a state like Florida, with a heavy Latino immigrant population. Between 2010 and 2017, payroll job growth in Florida outpaced the nation as a whole. Florida’s growth was fueled largely by its Hispanic population, which was responsible for half of the state’s growth in that same time period. Latino immigrants are more active in the labor force, more prone to seize work opportunities, and have higher employment rates than the U.S. average.
Despite frequent news covering problems around illegal immigration and undocumented immigrants, about 79% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens. This includes people born in the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico), people born abroad to American parents and immigrants who have become naturalized citizens. Additionally, many Latino immigrants have been in the U.S. for decades – 46% of Latino immigrants have lived in the U.S. for 21 or more years, choosing this country as their home to grow their families and professional careers.
If you are interested in additional data, you can view the New American Economy report, which was used to provide data points for this article. If you are a foreign national looking to move from a Hispanic country to build a life in the United States, contact our team of immigration attorneys today.