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The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Minnesota

New Chamber Foundation report: Immigrant entrepreneurs, workers drive Minnesota’s economy


The Minnesota Chamber Foundation released a report on Tuesday, March 23 titled, “The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Minnesota.” This report highlights their contributions as consumers, human capital, taxpayers and a link to the world economy, through entrepreneurship, by region and as talent in key industries. 

“The success of Minnesota’s economy, both now and in the future, is intrinsically linked to our immigrant communities,” said Laura Bordelon, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “With a changing population, Minnesota needs immigrant entrepreneurs and workers. They embody the spirit of our homegrown economy and we can all do more to support their long-term success.”

This report finds that immigrants link the state to the world’s economy and make valuable contributions as employers, entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. Over time, immigrants are upwardly mobile, experiencing improved poverty, employment and homeownership rates. 

Minnesota’s “homegrown economy” boasts a greater five-year survival rate for businesses than other states, but immigrant entrepreneurship lags behind the rest of the nation.  We need to begin building the support systems necessary for immigrant entrepreneurship growth and success.

K.C. Kye, Owner of K-Mama Sauce, offers advice in this report, based on his experience as an immigrant entrepreneur. “Connecting immigrants to resources is tough… Many immigrants don’t know what’s available, so reach out to them directly to help,” he said.

Also detailed is how immigrant populations vary by location in the state. The immigrant population in the Twin Cities is vastly different than in Greater Minnesota. The central region of the state has experienced faster immigrant population growth than other parts of the state in the last 10 years, and immigrant populations “cluster” in certain communities. 

Without immigrant employees, key industries such as agriculture, health care and manufacturing could not be as successful. This report includes firsthand accounts from immigrant entrepreneurs and employers whose businesses thrive because of immigrant employees. 

While some are quick to point out the public costs associated with immigrant populations, this report details how their contributions to the state’s economy far out-weigh short-term costs of public assistance, health care and education. 

This report is the sixth in a series of reports on immigrants in Minnesota from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce since 2009. 


With support from The McKnight Foundation

Navigate the report

View the report
View and download the report
Executive summary and introduction
75f Office
Demographic analysis
Economic contributions
Economic contributions
Consumers, human capital, taxpayers, link to the world economy
Economic contributions through entrepreneurship
Economic contributions through entrepreneurship
Economic contributions by region
Economic contributions by region
Key industries’ reliance on immigrant talent
Key industries’ reliance on immigrant talent
Contributions change over time
Contributions change over time
Conclusion and recommendations

Want to learn more? View this webinar on the report's release