Compared with some coastal states, Ohio doesn’t draw a large number of immigrants. In fact, the state falls into the bottom five in terms of percentage of foreign-born residents and comes in at less than 1/3 of the national average.
While more than 27% of California residents are foreign-born and New York and New Jersey follow closely at 23% and 22.5%, Ohio’s population is 95.6% U.S.-born.
But, a recent report from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University concludes that Ohio immigrants nonetheless play a key role in the workforce and economic environment of the state—and that their importance is likely to increase in the coming years.
Snapshot of Ohio Immigrants
Ohio Immigrants are Disproportionately College Graduates
Though Ohio ranks near the bottom of the country in the percentage of the population made up of immigrants, the state leads the nation in the educational level of its immigrant population.
Ohio shares the top slot with Maryland: in each state, just over 42% of immigrants have a four-year degree or higher. That’s more than 215,000 of Ohio’s 513,592 foreign-born inhabitants.
Three Ohio cities—Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland—are in the top 1/3 among the largest 40 metro areas in the country. In both Cuyahoga and Lake Counties, foreign-born residents are more likely to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher than are native-born residents. These highly-educated immigrants work primarily in management, business, science, and the arts, including education, health, computer systems services, and legal services. 43.6% work in the professional services sector, and nearly 25% in teaching and personal/medical care.
The Value of Ohio Immigrants in the Workforce
According to the report, the last category described above is particularly important.
The state has experienced a decline in overall health, falling to 40th in the nation in the annual rankings set forth by the United Health Foundation. At the same time, the population is aging: 16.3% of Ohio residents are aged 65 and older.
Declining health and an increasing elderly population mean an increased demand for health care workers and personal care workers. However, the combination of hard work and low wages makes many of these jobs undesirable to native workers.
The relatively low percentage of working-age adults in the native population further limits the pool. The most populous age group for U.S.-born Ohioans is 55-59. Foreign-born residents, on the other hand, cluster more heavily in the mid-twenties to late thirties, meaning that they will be in the workforce for much longer.
Other Characteristics of Ohio Immigrants
62.2% of Ohio immigrant households are made up of married couples with children.
Their divorce rate is just 9.1%.
23% speak only English, and another 39% speak English very well. Just 17% are unable to speak English well.
Experienced Ohio Immigration Attorneys
The immigration attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein have extensive experience in assisting people with the immigration process, including visa petitions, responses to requests for evidence, citizenship applications, and more.
They understand both the important role immigrants play in the state and the challenges the immigration process presents.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help ensure that your visa petition or other immigration process is successful.