Migration Magic: New High-Tech Firms
Highly recommended is study on immigrant-founded companies in the U.S. titled “American Made” by the National Venture Capital Association (http://www.nvca.org/). Study in Acrobat is here: http://www.nvca.org/pdf/AmericanMade_study.pdf
The Venture Capital study is about firms that, naturally, require a lot of capital, like launching innovative high-tech enterprises. But there are tens of thousands of small low-capital firms that can be launched from personal and family savings. I suspect immigrants are over-represented among these firms as well. The VC study notes that legal immigrants were 5% of U.S. population in 1980, 6.7% in 1990, and 8.7% today. A significant jump, especially considering that U.S. population itself increased from 226 million in 1980 to 300 million today.
So now we find 40% of venture-backed publicly-traded firms were founded by immigrants, and they employ some 220,000 people in the U.S. From 8 firms prior to 1980 to 88 today.