Labor and Economic Opportunity
June 2, 2021
CONTACT: Camara Lewis, 517-930-4928
LANSING, Mich.-- As proclaimed by Gov. Whitmer, June 2021 is Immigrant Heritage Month in Michigan, and the state joins a nationwide effort to collectively celebrate the history, culture and powerful influence immigrants have in shaping our communities and strengthening our economy.
"The hundreds of thousands of immigrants spread across every corner of our state is a signal of the vast opportunities Michigan offers those in search of a better life for themselves and their families," said Office of Global Michigan Director Fayrouz Saad. "Immigrants have made a wealth of contributions to this country and continue to make countless contributions to support, enrich and build up Michigan's economy."
According to data provided by New American Economy, there are over 678,000 immigrants in Michigan. Some of the state's largest and most vibrant communities are where a majority of immigrants call home, making up approximately 7% of Michigan's total population, with over 450,000 immigrants in Metro-Detroit, 72,500 in Grand Rapids and 28,700 in Ingham county.
Immigrants offer innovative ideas and create and fill in-demand jobs in Michigan. The top occupations in Michigan with the highest number of foreign-born workers are software developers, agricultural workers, physicians, physical therapists and postsecondary teachers.
In Michigan, and across the country, immigrants continue to grow business, and with over 36,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in Michigan, these businesses have contributed a total income of $1.2B. Their influence doesn't stop there, 33% of Michigan-based fortune 500 companies were either founded by an immigrant or by the child of an immigrant. Those firms generate $186.4B in annual revenue, and employ 400,000 people globally.
"We owe immigrants a great deal of gratitude because they have provided us with unique social and economic influences, which ultimately enhance the Michigan experience," Saad added.
Refugees living in the U.S. and several Michigan cities make tremendous contributions to our economy as earners, taxpayers and consumers just like immigrants, and to acknowledge their struggle and preserve their human rights, we celebrate June 20 as World Refugee Day in Michigan.
Join the conversation online using #CelebrateImmigrants and #ImmigrantHeritageMonth and visit Michigan.gov/ImmigrantHeritage for the digital toolkit.