CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 16: Immigrants from 25 countries receive their citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Daley Plaza on September 16, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Seventy people where awarded their U.S. citizenship during the Citizenship Day ceremony. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 513246259

By Alice Bazerghi, Chicago Sun Times

Chicago’s immigrant-owned businesses generated $659 million in income in 2016, according to a new report.

Immigrants may only have made up 20.7 percent of Chicago’s population, but they represented 36.4 percent of the city’s entrepreneurs in 2016, according to a report from the New American Economy and Chicago Mayor’s Office of New Americans released last month. In fact, immigrants owned over 39,000 businesses and were 67.4 percent more likely to become entrepreneurs than people born in the U.S.

Similarly, immigrants made up a larger percentage of the work force than their percentage of Chicago’s 2016 population, according to the report. In all, immigrants represented 24.3 percent of the workforce with 48 percent of workers in the city’s manufacturing industry, 34.9 percent of workers in the city’s accommodation and recreation industry and 26.9 percent people with STEM jobs in Chicago.

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