As the U.S. marks another National Immigrant Heritage Month, a new report found that almost 44%, or 219 companies, in this year’s Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.
In its annual review of the largest and most recognizable American companies, the American Immigration Council released a report that examines the role of immigrant entrepreneurs and their children in America’s economic success story.
The report, “New American Fortune 500 in 2022: The Largest American Companies and Their Immigrant Roots,” draws from Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking of the United States’ 500 largest corporations, ranked by revenue, to analyze the share of companies that were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants and these firms’ contributions to the U.S. and global economy.
The report also found that of the 219 companies, 102 of those companies were founded by immigrants, and 117 companies were founded by the children of immigrants.
Additionally, Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or children of immigrants employ more than 14.8 million people worldwide and immigrant-founded Fortune 500 companies drive 68 industry sectors across the American economy. Some 35 U.S. states are headquarters to at least one new American Fortune 500 firm, and seven of those states have at least 10 firms.
Further, the over $7 trillion in revenue generated by Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or children of immigrants is greater than the GDP of every country in the world outside the United States, except China.
“Immigrant entrepreneurs play an indispensable role in driving our economy and in creating job growth,” said Andrew Lim, research director at the American Immigration Council. “While immigrants represent only 13.6% of the U.S. population, it’s estimated that a quarter of America’s entrepreneurs are immigrants. This increased propensity for business creation among immigrants is crucial for the U.S economy, as research shows that nearly all net job growth in the United States is attributed to new firms and startups.”
Lin added: “From household names such as Apple and Costco, as well as newcomers to the Fortune 500 list like Jackson Financial and Caesars Entertainment, more than two out of every five Fortune 500 companies had at least one immigrant or child-of-immigrant founder—a pattern that has remained over the years since our first New American Fortune 500 report in 2011.”
As the anti-immigrant sentiments run rife in the U.S. and more and more immigrants, including those supporting the U.S. economy, are either being kicked out or placed in limbo, it is important to ensure the contributions of immigrants to the United States are not pushed on to the back burner and dismissed as simply people who come into this country to take away jobs.
This report is a welcome addition to telling that story in National Immigrant Heritage Month. While the United States has long been the premier destination for this kind of global talent, it has become increasingly clear that we need smarter immigration policies to attract and retain international talent and that means an immigration policy for this century.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News