Statistics About Immigrants Living in Maryland

Statistics About Immigrants Living in Maryland

It is said that the United States is a land made up of immigrants, and looking at the current immigration statistics for the state of Maryland, this continues to be true. Maryland continues to be home to a very diverse community, which no doubt contributes to its vibrant culture. No doubt part of this vibrancy is due to the large population of immigrants that live within the state of Maryland. According to statistics provided by the Immigration Policy Center, as recently as 2011, 13.9% of the citizens of Maryland were born in a foreign country.

Delving Deeper Into the Immigrant Population of Maryland

That over one in every ten Marylanders was born outside of the United States is staggering when you think about it. When you plunge deeper into the statistics, though, one really comes to appreciate just how much these immigrants are woven into the fabric of Maryland at large. Of the statistics provided by the Immigration Policy Center, here are some highlights:

  • Of those 811,701 immigrants almost half were naturalized U.S. citizens.
  • Naturalized immigrants made up one-tenth of the population of registered voters.
  • Nearly 5% of the state’s population is comprised of undocumented immigrants.
  • These statistics have changed dramatically since 1990, when immigrants made up only 2.6% of Maryland’s population.

Considering this, it’s easy to understand just how vital and important the immigrant population in Maryland is to the state at large. The Immigration Policy Center also points out that 15.6 billion dollars of economic activity within the state are due to Latino and Asian owned businesses. In total, those businesses employed nearly 100,000 Maryland workers.

Among other statistics that the Immigration Policy Center highlights:

  • Nearly 90% of children born to immigrants in Maryland are proficient in English
  • Nearly half of immigrants within the state are naturalized citizens
  • Approximately 20% of the workforce is made up by immigrants, with 6.2% of the workforce being undocumented

While some choose to downplay the important role that immigrants plays within the United States and also within the State of Maryland, the Immigration Policy Center points out a very interesting fact. If one were to take out the entire undocumented immigrant population of the state of Maryland, the state would lose over 15 billion dollars of economic activity and would stand to lose approximately 75,000 jobs.

The Maryland DREAM Act

Considering these statistics, it’s easy to see why the state of Maryland was inclined to act when the federal government stagnated. By introducing the Maryland DREAM Act in 2012, the state provided much-needed assistance to its substantial population of undocumented immigrants. This bill provided those immigrants with access to tuition for public education, something that will only continue to benefit that state at large – given the tremendous impact immigrants have and will continue to have upon the state’s economy.

True to form, the benefits of that bill’s enactment have already begun to be felt. For the academic year ending June 2013, the statewide graduation rate rose by 1%. While there were many factors that contributed to this, one which cannot be overstated is the DREAM act. As a result of it, the percentage of Hispanic students who successfully graduated high school rose by 2.5%, handily beating the statewide average. With Maryland acting as a microcosm for the nation at large, it’s clear to see why the need for federal action on the question of undocumented immigrants is so important.