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  • The United States has more immigrants than any other nation.

  • The United Nations defines immigrants as:

  • and nearly 50 million immigrants live here in the U.S.

  • Some of which came from places like Mexico over into the U.S.

  • It's at the forefront of national debates and is driving political discourse.

  • But what do we know about immigration's effect on the actual economy?

  • The United States is often referred to as a 'nation of immigrants.'

  • And it's no wonder.

  • With 49.8 million immigrants, that's about equal to the entire populations

  • of Australia, Ecuador and Switzerland combined.

  • Saudi Arabia, Germany and Russia follow the U.S., with about 12 million immigrants each.

  • However, only about 15 percent of the U.S.' total population is foreign-born,

  • well below countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

  • But in cities like Miami, Los Angeles and El Paso, Texas, that percentage is substantially higher,

  • ranging from 26 to 40 percent.

  • The U.S.-Mexico border has become a focal point in the migration debate.

  • Immigrants continue to make up a larger portion of U.S. society.

  • This has skyrocketed since 1970 when foreign-born residents

  • made up less than five percent of the population.

  • So what have economists learned about the impact of migration?

  • Well, when we talk about the economy as a whole, it's pretty good news.

  • One report found that an extra one percent increase in a country's migrant population

  • adds on an extra two percent GDP per capita in the long term.

  • The IMF research found this boost happens in two ways.

  • One, it impacts productivity per worker because migrant skills often complement the existing population's.

  • Number two, it increases the percentage of working-age people in a country

  • because migrants tend to fall within this age bracket.

  • That helps pay for things like Social Security.

  • The IMF recently advised advanced economies like the U.S., the U.K. and Japan

  • to open up their borders to avoid being overwhelmed by their aging populations.

  • So with the largest immigrant population in the world, how is American business influenced by immigrants?

  • Two-thirds of U.S. economic growth since 2011 has been directly attributed to migration.

  • The same study found that U.S. immigrants are two to three times more likely than U.S. natives to do things

  • like start a company, create a patented innovation or even win an Academy Award or Nobel Prize.

  • Researchers say this is because migration is a risk,

  • meaning the type of person who chooses to migrate tends to be more entrepreneurial.

  • That entrepreneurial spirit may be why migrants have started 30 percent of American businesses,

  • despite only making up about 15 percent of the population.

  • Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants.

  • And so were half of all unicorns, that's startups valued at more than $1 billion.

  • Another study found 50 out of 91 unicorns have immigrant founders.

  • Those 50 startups had a combined value of $248 billion - that's more than Finland's GDP.

  • These unicorns employ an average of 1,200 people each.

  • While these trends are impressive, they do skew toward higher-skilled migrants.

  • Contrary to popular belief though, the IMF found both

  • high and low-skilled migrants contribute to higher productivity.

  • But if it's all such great news, then why is there so much backlash against immigrants?

  • Well, while immigration helps an economy overall, those benefits aren't felt evenly across society.

  • Many migrants face a language barrier, which can mean integration takes a while,

  • but they are still able to contribute to a country's economy through fast-growing scientific and

  • technical industries, where they don't necessarily need to command as many communication skills.

  • Lower-skilled migrants, including a large portion of the roughly 11 million who came to the U.S. illegally,

  • also skew toward jobs that don't require communication.

  • But there's one industry that pretty much relies on undocumented workers here in the U.S.

  • More than half of all hired farmers are estimated to be undocumented.

  • The sector has the highest share of unauthorized workers - by a lot.

  • Following farming, is construction, where about 15 percent of its workers are undocumented.

  • And overall, about five percent of the U.S. workforce consists of undocumented immigrants.

  • Overall immigration's effects on American wages are very small.

  • But it has pushed down wages in these industries, particularly farming and construction.

  • The country's existing immigrants are most likely to be impacted by newer immigrants and lower wages.

  • That's followed by American-born high school dropouts, where wages can fall between two and five percent.

  • But some argue these are jobs native-born Americans don't want and that lower wages

  • are indirectly helping those people by helping local businesses succeed and then grow.

  • A booming economy would mean native-born residents will see more opportunities in better-paid industries

  • like sales and personal services, both of which require a command of the English language.

  • And low wages in the farming sector, ultimately means food costs less for the U.S. consumer.

  • The U.S. is among the countries with the lowest amount of household income going toward food,

  • spending on average just 6 percent of their annual budget on groceries.

  • But what about taxes?

  • Many politicians have cited a figure from the conservative-leaning

  • Federation for American Immigration Reform, which reported federal, state and local governments

  • spend $135 billion a year on undocumented immigrants.

  • Several non-partisan organizations have disputed that number though, saying it overestimates the number of

  • such immigrants and doesn't account for many of the positive effects they have on the economy.

  • In reality, it's difficult to place an exact number on the cost.

  • But the country's leading researchers at the National Academies have found this.

  • First-generation immigrants do cost governments more than the U.S.' native-born population.

  • One of the major costs is education, which is paid for primarily by both local and state governments.

  • But that does seem to change when it comes to their children.

  • As adults, second-generation immigrants are some of

  • the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the U.S.

  • They contribute more in taxes than their parents and the rest of the native-born population.

  • So while immigration's impact on the economy is nuanced in the short term,

  • most economists agree it's positive news for the country in the long run.

  • Hey guys, it's Uptin. Thanks for watching.

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The United States has more immigrants than any other nation.

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移民が経済に与える影響とは?| CNBCが解説 (How does immigration impact the economy? | CNBC Explains)

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    PENG に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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