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Immigrant Contributions to U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation

June 1, 2012
By Mario Kranjac
An examination of a number of academic studies assessing immigrants’ contributions to patents and publications, business formation and ownership, and job creation.

Research indicates that immigrants contribute to the American economy in significant ways. Immigrants form businesses at a greater and faster rate than non-immigrants. They also hire an employee, license and commercialize patents, and publish papers at higher rates than their nonimmigrant counterparts. Despite representing about only 12% of the population, immigrants founded 19% of 2012 Fortune 500 firms. Another 23.4% of Fortune 500 firms were founded by the children of immigrants. These statistics are solid evidence that immigrants are entrepreneurial and innovative, and help drive the U.S. economy.