New Americans in the Beaver State
The Immigration Policy Center (www.immigrationpolicy.org) has compiled U.S. Census data to portray the political and economic power of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians and their children in Oregon to show they are a increasingly growing share of the state’s population and electorate.
The foreign-born share of Oregon’s population rose from 4.9 percent in 1990, to 8.5 percent in 2000, to 9.8 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Oregon was home to 367,551 immigrants in 2007, which is nearly the total population of Minneapolis.
Approximately 34.6 percent of immigrants – or 127,302 people – in Oregon were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2007 – meaning that they are eligible to vote.
Around 6.5 percent – or 125,082 – of registered voters in Oregon were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965 – according to an analysis of 2006 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.
Nearly one-in-seven Oregonians are Latino or Asian.
The Latino share of Oregon’s population grew from 4.0 percent in 1990, to 8.0 percent in 2000, to 10.6 percent – or 397,230 people – in 2007. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.3 percent in 1990, to 3.0 percent in 2000, to 3.6 percent – or 134,908 people – in 2007 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Latinos accounted for 2.1 percent (or 39,000) of Oregon voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 1.8 percent – 33,000 – according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In Oregon, more than four-in-five or 84 percent of children in immigrant families were U.S. citizens in 2007, according to the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at the University of Albany.
Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Oregon’s economy.
The 2009 purchasing power of Latinos in Oregon totaled $7.0 billion – an increase of 660.9 percent since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $4.7 billion – an increase of 425 percent since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
Oregon’s 6,360 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $1.4 billion and employed 8,272 people in 2002, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 9,046 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $2.2 billion and employed 22,714 people in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.