Emerging power

With the 2010 national census still winding down, the Asian American and Asian immigrant population in Florida is still not fully known.

But based on available numbers, there is certainty a new emerging power – politically and economically – is going to be felt for years to come.

Just consider these:

  • In 2007, Asians comprise 2.2 % of the Florida population, or 401,527 people.
  • Asian buying power totaled $15.8 billion – an increase of 566.7% from 1990.
  • Asian-owned businesses had sales receipts of $11.2 billion and employed 91,422 people in 2002.

These figures are expected to rise with the 2010 census, and there is anecdotal evidence that despite the challenging economic times, people with roots in Asia continue to come, attracted by the warm weather and opportunities offered by the Sunshine State.

The Washington D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center, a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation, provided the statistics in coordination with several immigrant-friendly entities, including the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.

The study was intended to show how immigrants in Florida contribute to the economic and political health of the state, with focus on the growing Latino population.

According to the study, published in August 2009, Latinos, with a population of 1.1 million, comprise 15.4% of the Florida population, as of the 2008 election.

It was learned that the combined Latino and Asian voting population far exceeded Barack Obama’s margin of victory over John McCain in the state (236,450 votes).

Over 45 % of immigrants in Florida are naturalized citizens, meaning they are able to vote.

Other noteworthy findings:

  • Florida’s  workers contribute $20 billion in taxes to the state.
  • $10.5 billion in federal taxes
  • $4.5 billion in state and local taxes
  • $1.3 billion in property taxes
  • $3.2 billion in sales taxes
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