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Long Island News

Study Details Economic Impact Of Immigration On Long Island

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

A new study says the immigrant population on Long Island makes up about a fifth of its economic output.

The study was released this month by the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York, a nonpartisan economic policy think tank.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, a Senior Fellow with the institute, said the study details how immigrants contribute to Long Island's economy.

"There are about half a million immigrants on Long Island, making up 20 percent of the economic output, 23 percent of the labor force, and 23 percent of business owners. It’s not always well understood that immigrants are playing a big economic role in Long Island, but I think they are, in fact, a fifth of the overall economy," he said.

The study shows that about half of all immigrants living on Long Island work in white-collar jobs, such as doctors, lawyers, and registered nurses. A majority of immigrants live in families earning more than $80,000 a year.

Kallick says that kind of income is higher than the national median income but low for Long Island.

"The median income in the U.S. as a whole is $64,000 a year, but for Long Island it’s $119,000 per year," Kallilck says.

The study also shows that of the half million immigrants on Long Island, 98,000 are undocumented. Many undocumented immigrants work in construction, food services, and child care.