As immigration matters continue to roil Washington, a new report underlines the economic implications to Illinois if Congress and President Donald Trump make the wrong moves.
According to the study from the American Immigration Council, a left-leaning Washington advocacy group, 1 in 8 state residents, roughly 1.8 million people, are immigrants.
Even more significant, about 1 in 6 workers in the state—17.9 percent—is an immigrant.
The heaviest concentration of immigrant workers is in manufacturing, where 229,000 of the state’s 1.2 million immigrant workers are employed. Health care and social assistance industries come next at 157,000, according to the council, which says it drew its facts from the federal census and other data.
One in seven Illinois residents is an immigrant, while one in eight is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.
In 2015, 1.8 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 14.2 percent of the population.
Illinois was home to 870,770 women, 863,196 men, and 92,190 children who were immigrants.
The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (38.2 percent of immigrants), India (8.1 percent), Poland (7 percent), the Philippines (5 percent), and China (4.3 percent).
In 2016, 1.6 million people in Illinois (12.6 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.
Nearly half of all immigrants in Illinois are naturalized U.S. citizens.
880,242 immigrants (48.2 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 326,135 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
Nearly three-quarters (73.2 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”
Immigrants in Illinois are concentrated at both ends of the educational spectrum.
Almost one in three adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while one in four had less than a high school diploma.
More than a quarter-million U.S. citizens in Illinois live with at least one family member who is undocumented.
450,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 24 percent of the immigrant population and 3.5 percent of the total state population in 2014.
817,066 people in Illinois, including 343,532 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
During the same period, 1 in 10 children in the state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (395,179 children in total).
More than 35,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in Illinois.
As of 2016, 73 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants in Illinois, or 45,663 people, had applied for DACA.
An additional 18,000 residents of the state satisfied all but the educational requirements for DACA, and another 9,000 would be eligible as they grew older.
One in six workers in Illinois is an immigrant, together making up an important part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries.
1.2 million immigrant workers comprised 17.9 percent of the labor force in 2015.
Immigrants in Illinois have contributed billions of dollars in taxes.
Immigrant-led households in the state paid $9.8 billion in federal taxes and $5.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
Undocumented immigrants in Illinois paid an estimated $758.9 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to over $917.4 million if they could receive legal status.
DACA recipients in Illinois paid an estimated $131 million in state and local taxes in 2016.
As consumers, immigrants add tens of billions of dollars to Illinois’ economy.
Illinois residents in immigrant-led households had $40.1 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.
Immigrant entrepreneurs in Illinois generate billions of dollars in business revenue.
119,404 immigrant business owners accounted for 21.3 percent of all self-employed Illinois residents in 2015 and generated more than $2.5 billion in business income.
In 2015, immigrants accounted for 20.3 percent of business owners in the Chicago/Naperville/Joliet metropolitan area (which stretches from Wisconsin to Indiana through Illinois) and 6.5 percent of business owners in the St. Louis metro area (which straddles Illinois and Missouri).