WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2018– Just weeks ahead of the midterm elections in Rhode Island,
immigration policy has emerged as a top issue for voters. While the political
rhetoric on immigration may overlook important nuances about the complexity of
this issue, it remains critical for the public to understand the contributions
immigrants make to communities in Rhode Island.
The American Immigration Council
has extensive data on the population size, educational and citizenship
attainment, English proficiency levels, and tax contributions of Rhode Island’s
The Council’s fact sheet, Immigrants in Rhode Island, shows
that Rhode Island has a large community of immigrants, much of which emigrated
from the Dominican Republic. More than one in eight Rhode Islanders was born in
another country, while over 15 percent of residents are native-born Americans
who have at least one immigrant parent. Rhode Island’s economy benefits from
the active participation of immigrants in the labor force—from supporting the
state’s administrative and service industries to representing a fourth of
company and enterprise managers.
The fact sheet also reveals that
immigrants in Rhode Island account for 15.6 percent of the state’s labor force
and have paid $549.9 million in federal taxes and $336.6 million in state and
local taxes in 2014. As consumers, immigrants spent $2.6 billion on Rhode
Island’s economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs in Rhode Island generated $185.3
million in business revenue.
Drawing from U.S. Census data and
other sources, the Council developed fifty state fact sheets—including
infographics—that provide the latest demographic and economic contributions of
immigrants in each U.S. state.