For immediate release: Monday, January 23, 2017
Contact: Jon Rodney
Researchers unveil new data on immigrant contributions to California
As communities brace for Trump’s attacks, new report showcases immigrants’ crucial role in Golden State’s civic and economic life
“Resilience in an Age of Inequality” points to all workers’ shared interests amid alarming concentration of wealth
2017.1.23 – A new report released today examines immigrants’ profound contributions to California’s economic, social, and community fabric. Titled “Resilience in an Age of Inequality: Immigrant Contributions to California,” the report analyzes demographics, labor force participation, GDP, and household incomes for the state’s ten million immigrant residents, including nearly 3 million undocumented Californians. Audio from a tele-conference unveiling the report today is available here.
- Immigrants are deeply rooted in California’s communities. More than 10 million immigrants call the Golden State home, and nearly 3 million immigrant Californians are undocumented. Nearly one in every two California children has at least one immigrant parent, and three in four non-citizens live in households that also have citizens.
- California’s immigrant communities are incredibly diverse. Half of California’s immigrants are from Latin America, a third from Asia, and 2% (more than 200,000 people) are from Africa.
- Immigrants produce a tremendous amount of wealth for major industries. Immigrants contribute about 32 percent of California’s GDP: around $715 billion, well over the total revenue of Wal-Mart in 2016. Undocumented immigrants alone contribute about $181 billion of California’s GDP – just about equal to the 2015 GDP for the entire state of Oklahoma.
- Despite these vast contributions, immigrants- like other working people – face challenges as the concentration of wealth becomes more extreme. For all households headed by an immigrant, per capita income is a quarter less than overall per capita income in the state. For households headed by an undocumented immigrant – particularly at risk of exploitation and abuse – per capita income is only $16,100. Immigrants share of GDP is estimated at 32%, but their share of household income is 28%, suggesting immigrants produce relatively more than they take home in pay.