Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Report Reveals Role of Immigrants in City

By PATRICK MCGEEHAN

Every chemical engineer in New York City was born in a foreign country. Two-fifths of the city’s accountants and auditors and more than one-fourth of its chief executives are immigrants. In the three neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of immigrants, Ecuadoreans outnumber residents from any other country.

Those are a few of the facts about the role immigrants play in the city’s economy, according to a report released on Wednesday by Thomas P. DiNapoli, the state comptroller. The report said that immigrants accounted for nearly one-third of all economic activity in the city in 2008 — a total of $215 billion.

“Immigration continues to drive our economy, certainly continues to enrich life in our city,” Mr. DiNapoli said at a news conference at Baruch College in Manhattan.

The 10 neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of immigrants added jobs and payroll at a faster rate than the rest of the city from 2000 to 2007, the report said. All but one of those neighborhoods — the Washington Heights/Inwood section of Upper Manhattan — were in Brooklyn and Queens.

The median household income of the city’s immigrants nearly doubled to $45,000 in 2007 from $23,900 in 1990, significantly outpacing inflation, according to the report. That rising affluence helped more immigrants to buy homes. By 2008, 60 percent of all of the homeowners in the city were foreign born, the report said.

Joining in the fun-fact fest, James McCarthy, a provost of Baruch, noted that the school had at least one student from each of the 32 countries that would send teams to this year’s World Cup soccer tournament.

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