St. Pete Is No. 1 in Florida for Welcoming Immigrants
St. Petersburg ranks 13th in the nation for helping immigrants fit into the community, according to the NAE Cities Index – the first comprehensive, national assessment of immigrant integration policy and socioeconomic outcomes in the 100 largest U.S. cities.
ST. PETERSBURG – Immigrants who come to St. Petersburg find a welcoming place that helps smooth the way for them to fit in and become part of the community, according to an analysis by the New American Economy.
The NAE Cities Index is the first comprehensive, national assessment of immigrant integration policy and socioeconomic outcomes in the 100 largest U.S. cities. What impact immigrants are having on communities, and how well they are integrating, are two questions at the center of the national immigration debate. The NAE Cities Index provides the first comprehensive way to assess these questions and understand how immigrants and their destination communities are faring.
According to the findings,St. Petersburg ranks No. 13 overall with a 4.50 overall socioeconomic score and a 2.80 overall policy score. St. Pete ranks No. 1 among Florida cities. Individual category scores includedIndividual category scores include 5out 5 in Economic Prosperity, Livability and Civic Participation, and 3 out of 5 in both Inclusivity and Economic Empowerment.
As part of the effort, NAE’s comprehensive data on immigrants in St. Petersburg’s economy was cited as a key reason for St. Petersburg to take action to encourage integration. At large, immigrants have substantial impact on the local economy:
- Immigrants in the St. Petersburg area pay $549.5 million in taxes every year
- There are 2,166 Immigrant-owned businesses in the St. Petersburg area
- In 2014, immigrant spending power was $1.8 billion
“This ranking is a result of our hard work and commitment to ensuring that all residents of the city of St. Petersburg, regardless of where they are born or what language they speak, are afforded opportunity in America’s Sunshine City. I want to thank everyone at the New American Economy for their hard work and their diligence in creating this index,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.
The NAE Cities Index scores each city based on 51 unique measures, including policies like language access and support for immigrant entrepreneurs, as well as socioeconomic outcomes like labor force participation and home ownership rates. Overall scores range from 1-5 (5 highest), and offer insight into how well cities are integrating newcomers. This year – 2018 – is the first year for the NAE Cities Index, which will be updated annually to track cities’ progress.
Among the overall findings:
- The top 25 cities in the Index are attracting larger shares of highly skilled immigrant and U.S.-born residents, making them more competitive for business and economic investment.
- The top 25 cities in the Index are better for both immigrant and U.S.-born entrepreneurs, making them more likely to see job creation.
- The top 25 cities also benefit from greater equity between immigrants and the U.S.-born across key measures of quality of life
“The evidence is clear – cities that level the playing field for immigrants produce benefits for all their residents, the U.S.-born and immigrants alike,” said John Feinblatt, president of New American Economy. “Cities that top the NAE Cities Index are attracting newcomers, expanding their talent pools, and creating greater returns for entrepreneurs every day.”
For information about the New American Economy and the NAE Cities Index, go to newamericaneconomy.org.
St. Petersburg | Rick Kriseman | Immigration | Tampabay News
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