Immigrants Make NYC More Vibrant
In the New York Times, Kirk Semple writes about the latest edition of “The Newest New Yorkers", a report by New York City’s Planning Department that finds immigrants are “providing a continuous injection of economic vitality” in the city by starting more new businesses than natives and driving demand for housing. This injection was much needed after an economic slump in the 1970s resulted in a 10% loss of the general population. The study’s authors argue that the arrival of new immigrants has helped to boost the city’s economy and bring in “an era of renewal and growth”. Reading the article brought to mind another city struggling with population loss that desperately needs an injection of economic vitality and a new era of growth: Cleveland. A city that was once one of the largest in America is now ranked 48 [i]. Abandoned homes and lots dot the landscape. The city’s foreign population has fallen and is far below the nation’s average of 12.5% [ii]. Other cities facing these problems have also looked to attracting immigrants, but Cleveland hasn’t seriously considered it [iii]. Why not? As we posted last week, refugees have had a very positive impact on our local economy and “The Newest New Yorkers” makes it clear that new immigrants increase the demand for housing and services and are more likely to start new businesses. All things that Cleveland needs. We should follow New York City’s example and encourage new immigrants to settle here and help make Cleveland more vibrant.