Dispelling Some Myths: Immigrants, Agriculture and State Industries

Today, I would like to start laying out my immigration study for you. As you might remember from yesterday’s post, I have been organizing a data set of quality of life metrics so that we can have an open discussion about immigration. Specifically, I am looking to answer the question; Are immigrants beneficial or detrimental to the United States? I am creating a series of maps of metrics so that we can use to see if a correlation exists between quality of life issues and the concentrations of immigrants. As I indicated yesterday, some readers have made “legal” versus undocumented immigrants an important distinction. Thus, I am presenting a data set for each group; the total number of immigrants, as defined by those born outside of the United States who live legally in the country and those who are undocumented.

Below is the first map in my study series. It is going to be the base map. On that map I will be adding layers of specific metrics. The metrics will consider jobs, security and to a lesser extent, culture. For example, to address the question about jobs, I will be ranking each state based on metrics, such as unemployment rates, the states’ productivity, productivity as a factor of per capita income. I am also going to add metrics such as insurance coverage per capita in attempt to address the question of the cost immigrants may pose to taxes and other benefits.

For the security issue, I am planning on overlaying ranked metrics for each state such as violent crime rates. One of the cultural metrics I am planning on overlaying is the mix of Hispanic versus others by state as well as the prevalence of Spanish speakers in each state.

It is my hope that by having a set of verified metrics we can then start correcting many of the misconceptions about the immigration issue that are prevalent at the national stage. For example, look at following map.

specrep-img-map2

The map shows you the concentration of immigrants as a percent of each state’s population. The populations are ranked starting with the greatest concentration, the lower number and increasing as the concentration of immigrants per population lessens. For example, California has the largest concentration of immigrants per resident.

However, when you look at the undocumented immigrant set, the blue number, you will notice that California’s undocumented population is not the most concentrated, it is about in the middle. The greatest concentration of undocumented immigrants lives in Arkansas, which happens to not be in the top five states with the greatest immigrant populations.

What I find most intriguing is that the immigrants are not concentrated in the top ten agricultural states. As a matter of fact, not one of the states counts agriculture as it primary economic activity. I have added icons representing each state’s primary economic activity. These activities represent the highest income generating industry for each state.

Look at the top five states with the highest concentration of immigrants in them, the dark brown states. California’s primary industry is in the computer technology sector. It is also the number one agricultural state. But, as you look at the rest of the top five, you will notice that agriculture does not correlate with the immigration population. As a matter of fact, the banking sector is the industry for New York, which has the second highest concentration of immigrants.

Now look at the concentration of where the undocumented immigrants are estimated to be living. Notice that except for California, the undocumented population is not concentrated in the highest agricultural producing states. As I add more metrics to the base mp, I believe that you will start to notice that what many beleive to be the reality about immigrants in the US, does not corrolate with the facts.

One quick note abut the primary productivty metric for ech state. Building and constriction are the primary business activity in most states but it is a necessary activity in all of the states. The primary industry excludes real estate and construction activities.

For those of you interested in the actual numbers, here is my data set for each state’s primary economic productivity. I have also included the state’s agriculture activity.

  • Alabama: Ambulatory health care services {$7.4 billion; 4.1% of GDP} ($4 billion-24)
  • Alaska: Oil and Gas Exploration {$8.7 billion; 17.5% of GDP} ($52 million-50)
  • Arizona: Ambulatory health care services {$11.8 billion; 4.6% of GDP} ($3 billion-29)
  • Arkansas: Broadcasting and telecommunications {$6.9 billion; 6.3% of GDP} ($7 billion-11)
  • California: Computer and electronic manufacturing {$74.7 billion; 3.6% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 1] ($32 billion-1)
  • Colorado: Broadcasting and telecommunications {$13.8 billion; 5.2% of GDP} ($6 billion-16)
  • Connecticut: Insurance carriers and related activities {$17.3 billion; 7.5% of GDP} ($520 million-44)
  • Delaware: Federal reserve banks, credit intermediation and related services {$7.9 billion; 14.1% of GDP} ($900 million-39)
  • Florida: Ambulatory health care services {$35.5 billion; 4.7% of GDP} ($7 billion-10)
  • Georgia: Federal reserve banks, credit intermediation and related services {$18.4 billion; 4.3% of GDP} ($6 billion-12)
  • Hawaii: Accommodation {$3.8 billion; 5.4% of GDP} ($540 million-43)
  • Idaho: Computer and electronic products manufacturing {$3.1 billion; 5.5% of GDP} ($4 billion-21)
  • Illinois: Insurance carriers and related activities {$25.9 billion; 3.9% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 5] ($10 billion-6)
  • Indiana: Chemical products manufacturing {$23.8 billion; 8.3% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 8] ($6 billion-13)
  • Iowa: Insurance carriers and related activities {$11 billion; 7.2% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 2] ($15 billion-3)
  • Kansas: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$4.6 billion; 3.5% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 7] ($10 billion-7)
  • Kentucky: Motor vehicles. Bodies and trailers, and parts manufacturing {$7.9 billion; 4.6% of GDP} ($4 billion-23)
  • Louisiana: Chemical products manufacturing {$15.4 billion; 7.3% of GDP} ($2 billion-34)
  • Maine: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$3.3 billion; 6.5% of GDP} ($550 million-42)
  • Maryland: Ambulatory healthcare services {$11.2 billion; 3.5% of GDP} ($2 billion-36)
  • Massachusetts: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$19.4 billion; 4.7% of GDP} ($400 million-47)
  • Michigan: Motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts manufacturing {$42.4 billion; 10.4% of GDP} ($4 billion-22)
  • Minnesota: Ambulatory health care services {$11.8 billion; 4.2% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 6] ($10 billion-5)
  • Mississippi: Ambulatory health care services {$3.9 billion; 4% of GDP} ($4 billion-26)
  • Missouri: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$10.9 billion; 4.2% of GDP} ($6 billion-15)
  • Montana: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$1.9 billion; 4.8% of GDP} ($2 billion-33)
  • Nebraska: Insurance carriers and related activities {$5.5 billion; 5.5% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 4] ($12 billion-4)
  • Nevada: Accommodation {$13 billion; 10.9% of GDP} ($450 million-45)
  • New Hampshire: Insurance carriers and related activities {$2.9 billion; 4.5% of GDP} ($160 million-48)
  • New Jersey: Ambulatory health care services {$19.3 billion; 3.8% of GDP} ($800 million-40)
  • New Mexico: Oil and gas extraction {$3.7 billion; 4.5% of GDP} ($3 billion-31)
  • New York: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services {$99.1 billion; 7.9% of GDP} ($4 billion-28)
  • North Carolina: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services {$26.4 billion; 6.1% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 9] ($8 billion-8)
  • North Dakota: Support activities for mining {$3.5 billion; 7.7% of GDP} ($4 billion-25)
  • Ohio: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$22.3 billion; 4.3% of GDP} ($5 billion-17)
  • Oklahoma: Oil and gas extraction {$13.7 billion; 8.7% of GDP} ($5 billion-18)
  • Oregon: Computer and electronic products manufacturing {$41.3 billion; 21.0% of GDP} ($4 billion-27)
  • Pennsylvania: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$28 billion; 4.7% of GDP} ($5 billion-20)
  • Rhode Island: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$2.8 billion; 5.5% of GDP} ($63 million-49)
  • South Carolina: Administrative and support services {$6.5 billion; 3.8% of GDP} ($2 billion-35)
  • South Dakota: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services {$5 billion; 12.8% of GDP} ($5 billion-19)
  • Tennessee: Ambulatory health care services {$13.1 billion; 4.8% of GDP} ($3 billion-32)
  • Texas: Oil and gas extraction {$123.9 billion; 8.9% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 3] ($16 billion-2)
  • Utah: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services {$6.8 billion; 5.5% of GDP} ($1 billion-37)
  • Vermont: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities {$1.2 billion; 4.6% of GDP} ($580 million-41)
  • Virginia: Food and beverage and tobacco products manufacturing {$15.7 billion; 3.7% of GDP} ($3 billion-30)
  • Washington: Publishing industries, except internet (includes software) {$30.2 billion; 8% of GDP} ($6 billion-14)
  • West Virginia: Mining, except oil and gas {$6 billion; 9.2% of GDP} ($420 million-46)
  • Wisconsin: Insurance carriers and related activities {$12.2 billion; 4.6% of GDP} [Agricultural rank: 10] ($7 billion-9)
  • Wyoming: Mining, except oil and gas {$4.9 billion; 13.7% of GDP} ($1 billion-38)

Sources:
Other than agriculture: Frohlich, Thomas; Stebbins, Samuel; Sauter, Michael; Comen, Evan; “Largest Industry in Each State” 24/7 Wall St.; September 18, 2015
Top Ten Agriculture States: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2015
Agriculture receipts by states in () from 2004 values, USDA

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