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Appold, Stephen J.; Johnson, James H., Jr.; & Kasarda, John D. (2013). A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas, Volume 2: Economic and Fiscal Benefits and Costs. Little Rock, Ark.: Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.


This report presents an analysis of immigrants’ impact on the Arkansas economy and on state and local budgets. It is the second in a three-volume set commissioned by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Little Rock. Volume 1, A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas: Changing Workforce and Family Demographics, provides a demographic and socioeconomic profile of immigrants and their children, including a description of immigrant workers. Volume 3, A Profile of the Marshallese Community in Arkansas, focuses on Marshall Islanders — a group that is important to Arkansas, but inadequately described in national Census Bureau surveys. (Marshallese individuals are admitted to the United States to live, work, and study as nonimmigrants, and generally do not have a path to permanent residency or citizenship. Since they are not considered “immigrants,” we do not use this term to describe them in the reports’ three volumes.) These volumes build upon a previous study of the Arkansas immigrant population commissioned and published by the Foundation in 2007. This newest research describes the current and future roles that immigrants and their children play in the Arkansas economy. Despite the fact that immigrants make up a small share of the total Arkansas population currently, they make up significant shares of workers in major industries such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, where they contribute to the state’s economic competitiveness and tax base. The children of immigrants — who are overwhelmingly US-born — comprise a large share of the state’s total child population and are thus important to future population growth. These mostly citizen children (over 80 percent were born in the United States) will age into the labor force in large numbers regardless of whether future immigration flows rise or decline. Investments in these, and indeed all, children represent an investment in the future of Arkansas.


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Appold, Stephen J.
Johnson, James H., Jr.
Kasarda, John D.