Impact In Arkansas
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 8, 2013) – A new study, released today by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, shows that immigrants represent a small but growing part of Arkansas’s population and are having a positive impact on the state through their investment in communities and productivity to Arkansas’s economy.
The three-volume report, A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas 2013, describes the demographic characteristics of the state’s immigrant population, their economic and fiscal impact, and the state’s Marshallese community. The report – produced by researchers from the Migration Policy Institute, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Arkansas – is a follow-up to a similar study in 2007.
“The Foundation’s primary goal with this study,” says Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation president and CEO, “is to provide relevant data to help community, business, and policy leaders better understand the population of immigrants and Marshall Islanders in Arkansas.”
According to the report:
Arkansas immigrants are a small but growing population in the state.
Immigrants are integrating well in Arkansas, just as previous generations have done.
The native-born population is aging and immigrants are now keeping Arkansas vibrant and competitive.
“The economic benefit is only part of the story we want to tell,” says Dr. West-Scantlebury. “Immigrants are long-term residents of the state and are contributing to stronger neighborhoods and vibrant communities.”
In addition to the data around immigrants, the report also takes a comprehensive look at Arkansas’s Marshallese population. Arkansas has the second-largest Marshallese population outside the Republic of Marshall Islands, after the state of Hawaii. Most of the Marshallese in the state live in Northwest Arkansas.
The updated data in this report supports the Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of all Arkansans by closing the educational and economic gaps that leave many families behind. The study is part of the Foundation’s continuing commitment to identify and support those factors that can help the state move the needle from poverty to prosperity.
“We encourage our state’s community leaders and policymakers to use the report to engage in data-driven conversation about the positive impact of immigrants on our state’s communities and economy,” says Dr. West-Scantlebury. “We need to invest in the future of immigrants if the state is to benefit from their culture, productivity, and economic contributions.”
To read the three volumes of A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas 2013 commissioned by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation that analyze the population of immigrants and Marshall Islanders in Arkansas, visit www.wrfoundation.org
About the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 35 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, we are working even harder to help close the economic and education gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty.
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