44% Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children

Image Courtesy: http://www.startupsusa.org/

These 219 new American companies on the 2022 Fortune 500 list brought in $7.2 trillion in revenue in 2021

Bringing out the important part played by Immigrant entrepreneurs in America’s economic success story, a new report finds that nearly 44% companies on the 2022 Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.

Some of the largest and most recognizable American companies, including household names such as Apple and Costco, were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, according to Washington, DC-based advocacy group, The American Immigration Council.

Even Moderna, the pharmaceutical company and vaccine producer, was founded by a Canadian-born stem cell biologist, Derrick J. Rossi, whose parents themselves emigrated from Malta.

Read: Tech giants want US to let foreign workers’ adult kids stay (June 9, 2022)

Since its first New American Fortune 500 report in 2011, the Council has found that more than two out of every five Fortune 500 companies had at least one immigrant or child-of-immigrant founder.

This pattern has continued over the years since, the report said noting 43.8 percent, or 219 companies, in the 2022 Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants or their children.

Of those companies, 102 were founded directly by foreign-born individuals while another 117 were founded by the children of immigrants.

These New American firms make important contributions to both the US and the global economy. In fiscal year 2021, the 219 New American companies on the 2022 Fortune 500 list brought in $7.2 trillion in revenue.

To put it in context, that figure is greater than the GDP of many developed countries—including Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom, the report noted.

In fact, a country with a GDP equal to the revenues of the New American Fortune 500 firms would be the third largest economy in the world, behind only the United States and China, it said.

New American Fortune 500 companies are a strong driver of job creation, the report said. On average, each New American Fortune 500 company employs 67,580 workers, 21.4 percent more than the average number of workers at non-New American Fortune 500 firms.

Read: High-skilled immigration strengthens American economy: TechNet (December 6, 2021)

Together, New American Fortune 500 firms employ over 14.8 million people—a population that would rank as the fifth largest state in the country, just after New York but easily beating Pennsylvania, according to the report.

Six states have at least ten New American Fortune 500 firms with New York, America’s original immigrant gateway, leading the pack with 30 firms. California comes in second with 25 New American Fortune 500 companies, followed by Illinois with 22, Texas with 21, Florida with 13, and Virginia with 10.

Given their number and size, these New American companies have an outsized impact on each state’s economy. For example, in New York, the Fortune 500 companies brought in revenue that equaled 56.2 percent of the state’s total GDP and employed 1.67 million people around the world.

In Illinois, New American companies brought in combined revenue equal to 72.2 percent of the state’s GDP.

Apart from the New American Fortune 500, Immigrants play a significant role in medium and small businesses vital to the US economy.

Read: 44 percent of US Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children (June 22, 2021)

Nearly 3.2 million immigrants run their own businesses employing many more millions at neighborhood stores, restaurants, professional services, and other local businesses, the report said.

Data from 2017 also shows that immigrants continue to be more likely to be entrepreneurs than their US-born counterparts.

This increased propensity for business creation among immigrants is crucial for the US economy, as research shows that nearly all net job growth in the United States is attributed to new firms and startups, the Council said.

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