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Post Date:09/26/2018 8:43 AM

Chula Vista is one of the top 10 cities in a new index that ranks how immigrants are integrating into large American cities. The New American Economy (NAE) has released the NAE Cities Index - the first comprehensive, national assessment of immigrant integration policy and socioeconomic outcomes in 100 of the largest U.S. cities. The NAE Cities Index assesses what impact immigrants are having on communities and how well they are integrating to better understand how immigrants and their destination communities are faring.

Key Findings:

  • ●Large, traditional immigrant gateways top the policy category in the Index. San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle take the top five policy spots as a result of their strong support for immigrants. Each city earned perfect scores in Government Leadership and Legal Support, and all maintain a local office dedicated to immigrant integration.
  • ●Smaller, more affordable cities top the socioeconomic outcomes category in the Index. St. Petersburg, Newark, Chula Vista, and Henderson—each among the smallest third of the Index cities in terms of population—took the top five socioeconomic outcome spots. These cities scored especially high in Livability, pointing to a smaller gap in homeownership rates, health insurance rates, and educational attainment rates between their US-born and immigrant populations.
  • ●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. In the top 25 cities, on average, the share of immigrant advanced degree holders (15.9%) and U.S.-born advanced degree holders (14.5%) is higher than in cities in the Index overall (12.8% and 12.9%, respectively).
  • ●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. On average, immigrant and U.S.-born entrepreneurs living in the top 25 cities have a slightly higher median business income ($24,498 for U.S.-born, $19,934 for foreign-born) than entrepreneurs in cities overall ($23,358 for U.S.-born, $19,822 for foreign-born).
  • ●Additionally, U.S.-born individuals living in the top 25 cities, on average, also have slightly higher rates of entrepreneurship (8.1%) than their U.S.-born counterparts (7.9%) in cities overall.
  • ●The top 25 cities also benefit from greater equity between immigrants and the U.S.-born across key measures of quality of life. Across homeownership rates, health insurance rates, and poverty rates, there are smaller gaps
  • ●between the U.S.-born and immigrants in the top 25 cities than in cities overall. U.S.-born and immigrant residents of the top 25 cities also have higher overall health insurance rates (90.1% and 75.8%, respectively) compared with their counterparts in cities overall (89.0% and 70.2%, respectively).
  • ●Among top-ranked cities, attracting immigrants is key to population growth. Both Newark, NJ, and Baltimore, MD, which top the 2018 Index, would have seen their populations shrink since 2010 but for the immigrants who came, stabilized their brain drain, and allowed both cities to grow. Similarly, 18 of the top 20 cities in the Index experienced population growth between 2010 and 2017.

The cities with the highest scores in the NAE Cities Index tend to fall into three different profiles:

  1. Cities that are starting to rebound after years of job and population loss that resulted in economic instability, like Newark, NJ and Baltimore, MD, where immigrants are bringing the much-needed skills and entrepreneurial spirit that can help develop a more stable and educated workforce, encourage new business creation, fill vacant housing, and expand local tax bases. In these cities, the gap between immigrants and the U.S.-born is much smaller than in the rest of the country when it comes to indicators such as poverty rates, educational attainment, and entrepreneurship rates.
  2. Cities that are immigrant hubs, like New York, NY and San Francisco, CA, have succeeded in creating a welcoming environment with strong policies focused on inclusivity and providing access to city services and information. Inclusive policies help make these cities destinations for the creative class and for high-skilled businesses. However, some of these cities do not score as highly on socioeconomic measures such as access to housing or income equality.
  3. Cities that are new immigrant gateways, like Atlanta, GA and Greensboro, NC, are some of the fastest growing places in the country. In these cities, immigrants and U.S.-born newcomers together are helping to create the diverse workforce necessary to continue growing and attracting new businesses. These cities scored highly on socioeconomic indicators such as job opportunities at all skill levels, affordable and quality housing, and educational opportunities.

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 homeownership rates. Overall scores range from 1-5 (5 highest) and offer insight into how well cities are integrating newcomers. 2018 is the first year for the NAE Cities Index, which will be updated annually to track cities’ progress. View the data and information at

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