5 Interesting Florida Immigration Facts
For a long time, Florida has been a trade and immigration center for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Because of this, many different people have passed through Florida, and many chose to put down roots. In fact, the state has a long history of Caribbean immigration and resettlement, including large populations of Cuban nationals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Florida possesses one of the largest foreign-born populations in all of the U.S. because of its rich immigration history.
Because Davis & Associates respects and honors Miami’s storied history, we have collected some interesting Florida immigration facts. These facts are sourced from the American Immigration Council (AIC), which provides fact sheets for each state in America. If you’re interested in learning more, click here to view any state. Unless otherwise noted, all facts and figures in this article are sourced from the AIC’s in-depth website.
Below, we review five interesting Florida immigration facts that you might not have known! Remember, if you have any immigration question or concern, the best ally is an experienced and compassionate immigration lawyer. The attorneys at Davis & Associates can help – we offer free initial consultations for your convenience.
1. One in Five Florida Residents is an Immigrant.
As of 2015, immigrants represented 20.2% of the Floridian population. That equals roughly 4.1 million people, all who provide unique and valuable contributions to Florida’s culture, economy, and local communities. Of Florida’s immigrants, over one-fifth were born in Cuba (22.8%), which is unsurprising due to the state’s close proximity to the Caribbean nation. Finally, in addition to Florida’s large immigrant population, in 2015 an additional 2.5 million people were naturally-born citizens with at least one immigrant parent. That’s another 12.5% of the state’s population, meaning that over 30% of Floridians are members of immigrant families!
2. The Majority of Floridian Immigrants are Naturalized Citizens.
Naturalized citizens contribute greatly to their home states and the U.S. as a whole. They bring new skillsets and world views, broadening horizons and integrating into and improving communities across America. Florida is no exception to this standard. In fact, over half of Florida’s immigrant residents are naturalized citizens! In 2015, 2.2 million (53.7%) of Florida’s immigrants were naturalized citizens, and another 784,395 people became eligible for naturalization during the same year.
3. Over 25,000 Dreamers Call Florida Home.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, better known as DACA, provides hope and opportunity to a large group of young people who otherwise don’t have legal status. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), in 2018 there were 27,130 DACA recipients living in Florida. The institute also estimates that there are roughly 75,000 young Floridians who are eligible for DACA benefits. Unfortunately, the DACA program is not open at the moment to new applicants, which may further explain Florida’s low DACA utilization percentage (36%). Hopefully, DACA will be open to all, not just renewals, in the near future.
4. 25% of Floridian Workers are Immigrants.
From H-1B beneficiaries to entrepreneurs, immigrants in Florida represent one-quarter of the entire workforce (2.5 million people, 25.4%). A further 6.2% of Florida’s workers are undocumented immigrants (as of 2014). Figure 1 below lists the specific industries that employed the most immigrant workers. These industries have the largest shares of immigrant workers, as compared to naturally-born U.S. citizens.
Figure 1. Floridian Industries with the Greatest Share of Immigrant Workers, 2015
5. Immigrants Contribute Billions to Florida’s Economy.
In 2014, households led by immigrants paid a combined $17 billion in federal taxes and $6.4 billion to Florida in the form of state and local taxes, according to the AIC. Further, undocumented immigrants in the workforce contributed nearly $600 million more in state and local taxes. The AIC estimates this would rise to over $650 million if these immigrants were provided with legal status.
Regarding spending, in 2014 immigrant households possessed an impressive $73.1 billion in “spending power,” which is after-tax income. This means that immigrant households contribute significantly to the Floridian economy, making it more robust, diversified, and healthy.
Finally, roughly 31% of self-employed Floridians were immigrants, creating nearly $6 billion in income within the state. Roughly 381,000 Floridan foreign-born residents are business owners and entrepreneurs. Ultimately, this means that Florida immigrants propel the state forward, contributing to business and industrial innovation.
Talk to an Expert Miami Immigration Attorney
Immigrants improve the economy and culture of every state in America. Florida’s rich history and lively culture are due to a tradition of immigration and integration. From Orlando to Miami, Fort Lauderdale to Naples, Florida is a state full of thriving immigrants. Davis & Associates is proud to serve the Miami community each day.
If you or a loved one have any immigration question or concern, don’t delay. The best way to prepare for the future is to understand your position and, if necessary, have a well-developed plan. At Davis & Associates, our expert attorneys passionately provide clients with top-tier immigration representation. We can answer your questions, guide your case or application, and protect your rights.
For your convenience, we offer free initial consultations. That way, you can discuss your unique situation with one of our esteemed lawyers before making any commitment. We know we can help – contact us today!
Davis & Associates utilized the American Immigration Council’s (AIC) Florida immigration fact sheet to write this article. You can find it here. You can also read about any state’s immigrant populations by visiting the AIC’s State By State page. Unless otherwise noted, all facts and figures originate from the AIC’s Florida facts article. We thank the AIC for its work and contributions.