Home » Report: Kentucky’s immigrant population increasing faster than national rate

Report: Kentucky’s immigrant population increasing faster than national rate

20% of Kentucky’s Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2016) — Kentucky is home to 159,867 immigrants, including an increase of 13,109 new immigrants from 2010-14, says a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group that advocates the economic benefits of immigration reform.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.10.04 PMFrom 2010 to 2014 Kentucky experienced an immigrant population growth of 8.9 percent, well above the national rate of 5.8 percent. Immigrants currently make up 4 percent of the state’s population, up from less than 1 percent in 1990.

Overall, 7,711 immigrants in Kentucky are self-employed, generating $315 million in business income in 2014. In Kentucky, 35,360 people are employed at firms owned by immigrants and 5 percent of all entrepreneurs in Kentucky are immigrants and 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies in Kentucky were founded by immigrants or their children.

In 2014 Kentucky immigrants earned $3.8 billion, with $343.1 million going to state and local taxes and $719.3 million to federal taxes, leaving them with $2.8 billion in remaining spending power.

Immigrants are 37 percent more likely than native-born Kentuckians to work, with 58.3 percent of all Kentucky immigrants working in 2014, compared to 42.6 percent of the native-born population. Kentucky immigrants also are 77 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than Kentucky natives.

The more than 146,000 immigrants who were living in Kentucky in 2010 were responsible for creating or preserving almost 7,000 manufacturing jobs. Of all Kentucky immigrants, 22 percent worked in animal production, 21 percent in crop production, 16 percent in traveler accommodation, 15 percent in computer systems design and related services and 13 percent in private households.

Agriculture has the largest share of immigrant workers, with 35 percent of all agricultural workers being immigrants.

At the same time, undocumented workers in Kentucky earned $748.9 million in 2014. Of that, $36.6 million went to state and local taxes and $56.8 million to federal taxes. Undocumented immigrants also contributed $13.2 million to Medicare and $55.2 million to Social Security.