Using Remi to Analyze the Socio-economic Impact of Brazilian Immigrants in Boston
imagine all the people – Brazilian Foreign-Born Immigrants in Boston Authors: ALVARO LIMA MARTINA TOPONARSKI NANETTE DYER BLAKEDOMINIC MODICAMORE, BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY RESEACH DIVISIONSENIOR ECONOMIST ALVARO LIMA, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH THOMAS M. MENINO, Mayor JOHN F. PALMIERI, Director
The BRA was created by the state in the 1950’s as an urban renewal authority. Cleared and re-developed several decaying inner city neighborhoods in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Has since changed its functions to include planning, economic development, job training, and real estate development. Unique structure, in which it is independent from city government, generating its own revenues through development fees and leasing real estate. The BRA owns and manages three Industrial parks with over 4 million square feet of industrial and office space in the city. The largest industrial park, Boston Marine Industrial Park, is home to more then 180 businesses located in 38 buildings on a 191 acre site. Businesses include printers, fish processors, the Harpoon Beer brewery, a ship repair facility, and the Boston Design Center. The BRA also owns and operates the Charlestown Navy Yard a now- defunct defense facility. Today , the site is home to a mixed-use development that includes housing as well as bio-medical facilities operated by Massachusetts General Hospital.
Boston Historic economic trends Brazilian Immigrants in Boston Project background Population Characteristics Educational Attainment Occupations Self-Employment Economic Impact of Brazilian Immigrants in Boston Impact of Consumer Spending by Brazilian Immigrants Impact of Brazilian Owned Businesses Total Economic Impact of Brazilian Immigrants in Boston
Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is New England’s largest city and a major U.S. center of financial, professional, medical, educational, and high technology activity. The city itself is home to roughly 600,000 residents and its metropolitan area is home to almost 5.8 million. There are roughly 673,000 jobs within the city and roughly 4.8 million in its metro area. Boston is one of only three major city’s to have more jobs than residents.
The city and metro area is also home to one of the most highly educated and skilled workforces in the country, and thus, is an attractive location for many industries that rely on this type of workforce. Even though Boston’s highly skilled workforce makes it an attractive city for business location, it’s economy is still one of the most cyclical in the nation. During periods of national declines, the Boston region is often hit the hardest. And during periods of national economic prosperity it is often one of the regions of strongest growth.
During the mid 1980’s, after a long period of economic decline, the Boston region led the state into what was referred as the “Massachusetts Miracle”; a period of incredible economic growth. This growth was fueled by innovations in the rapidly advancing technology industries, particularly the development of the mini- computer. Local companies such as Wang Computers and Digital were at the forefront of these innovations. As these industries became obsolete, particularly by further advancements that led to the development of the personal computer in the late 1980’s, the Boston region was plunged into one of the greatest economic declines since the great depression. Between 1988 an 1994, the Boston area lost almost 15% of all its jobs. The losses were spread across all sectors of it’s economy.
During the mid 1990’s, Boston’s economy began to recover. The recovery was led again by technological advancements. This time it was software development and life science advancements. Companies such as Boston Scientific, EMC, and Genzyme underwent tremendous growth during this period. Boston was also able to capitalize on the strengthening financial markets, because of its strong leadership role in money management, particularly mutual funds. Boston based companies such as Fidelity Investment, State Street, Putnam Investments, and MFS also grew at rapid rates during this period. The City’s many highly regarded medical and educational institutions, such as Mass General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, and Northeastern also began major expansions.
During the 1994 through 2000 period, the City of Boston alone added roughly 100,000 jobs, and the state as a whole added over 450,000 jobs. Per capita personal income was also growing rapidly, increasing by 46% in just 6 years in the Boston Metropolitan Area. Consequently, during this period, housing prices increased by over 100% in many Boston area communities. The growth ended with the national recession in 2001-2002, and once again the recession was far deeper in Massachusetts than almost all other regions of the country. During the 2000 to 2003 period, Boston and its surrounding metropolitan area lost among the greatest number of jobs of any area in the country.
The city of Boston alone lost over 50,000 jobs in just three years and Massachusetts lost around 200,000 jobs. The job loss in the City of Boston was greatest in financial services, professional services, Business services and travel and tourism. The city’s office market stood as a good indicator of job loss. Vacancy rates in Downtown Boston’s office market went from about 1.5% in the 4Q of 2000 to about 15% in the 2Q of 2003. The Boston and Massachusetts economy was again slow to recover, but by early 2004 began to show signs of growth again. The growth has been led by the city’s strong health care and education sectors. The financial services, professional services, and travel and tourism sectors have also showed moderate growth the past two years. The very latest indicators, however, show a softening economy again with flat growth rates projected for 2008.
“Imagine all the people” is a series produced by the Boston Redevelopment Authority Research Division for the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians that highlights immigrant communities in Boston and their contributions to Boston’s social, cultural and economic life. As part of the series and as one of the top ten foreign-born communities in Boston, the Brazilian community was the first community we analyzed. BOSTON’S FOREIGN-BORN TOP TEN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN Haiti 10% Dominican Republic 8% China* 7% Vietnam 6% El Salvador 4% Jamaica 4% Cape Verde 4% Colombia 3% Ireland 3% Brazil 3% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12%*China mainland only, excludes Hong Kong and TaiwanSource: U.S. Census 2000, BRA Research Division Analysis
For the analysis of Brazilian foreign-born population we used 2000 Census Public Use Microdata (5%) Sample (PUMS), and performed several tabulations in order to find out the main socio-demographic characteristics: POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT OCCUPATIONS SELF-EMPLOYMENT REMI was used to calculate the economic contributions of Brazilian foreign- born people and Brazilian owned businesses in Boston. This was a two-part Analysis. CONUSMER SPENDING IMPACT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IMPACT
Over 7,000 foreign-born Brazilians live in the city of Boston. Massachusetts as a whole, with over 60,000 Brazilians, ranks 2nd among all states in the US behind only Florida. Most are male (53%), single (45%) and 50% are between the ages 20 and 34 – a greater portion of young adults than in the general Boston Population (33%) Fifteen percent of Brazilian foreign-born immigrants in Boston are U.S. citizens by naturalization.Sources: U.S. Census 2000, PUMS (5%) Sample, BRA Research Division Analysis
Source: U.S. Bureau of Census, BRA Research Division Analysis, Digital Cartography & GIS
About 19% of Brazilians in Boston have less than a high school education. This is roughly the same as all foreign-born but much higher then the native-born (4%). Roughly 18% of Brazilians in Boston have a Bachelor’s degree compared with 23% for the native- born and 15% for all foreign born. Only 6% of Brazilians in Boston have a Masters degree or higher, a much lower proportion than that of the native-born (17%) and all foreign-born (13%) populations.Sources: U.S. Census 2000, PUMS (5%) Sample, BRA Research Division Analysis
A little over two thirds of Brazilians in Boston are employed. The labor force participation rate of Brazilians is 75%, compared with 63% for the rest of the population. Brazilians in Boston are more likely to be working in service and construction occupations then the remaining population and less likely to be in managerial and professional and technical and sales occupations.Sources: U.S. Census 2000, PUMS (5%) Sample, BRA Research Division Analysis
More than 13% of Brazilians in Boston are self-employed, a rate more than three times that of the foreign–born population and almost four times the self-employment rate of the native population. The high self-employment rate may be explained by high rates of financial capital among Brazilians as well as the fact that they emigrated from a country that also has a high self-employment rate.S
Brazilian immigrants contribute to Boston’s economy through their spending. REMI Policy Insight was used to measure the economic impact that consumer spending by Brazilians in Boston have on the local and state economy. Only Brazilians living in the city of Boston were modeled, but there impact is shown for all of Massachusetts. The consumer expenditure survey was used to determine what proportion of consumer spending went to the different categories of goods and services. Government spending of the sales tax revenue from the consumer spending was also modeled. A counterintuative method was performed to measure the impact since the spending is already taking place we need to remove it from the economy to measure its impact.
Population 7,173 Average Household Size (National Average) 2.7 Number of Households 2,657 Per Capita Income (2005 Estimates Based on National Data) $ 24,714 Average Household Income $ 66,728 Total Gross Income $ 177,274,143 Amount of Income Sent Back to Brazil* $ 10,902,960 Amount of Gross Income Retained Locally $ 166,371,183 Effective Amount of Income Spent in Boston (After Taxes) $ 132,334,548 * $342 / month per household sent back to BrazilSources: U.S. Census Bureau, BRA Research Division Analysis
Percent of Total Expenditures (Consumer Exp REMI Variable Detail Survey) 2005 State Sales Tax TotalConsumer Spending (amount) Vehicles and Parts 0.134 16,846,188 886,641 17,732,829.39 Computers andConsumer Spending (amount) Furniture 0.029 3,645,817 191,885 3,837,701.88Consumer Spending (amount) Other Durables 0.014 1,760,049 92,634 1,852,683.67Consumer Spending (amount) Food and Beverages 0.147 19,453,179 398,790 19,851,968.67Consumer Spending (amount) Clothing and Shoes 0.039 5,161,047 5,161,047.36Consumer Spending (amount) Gasoline and Oil 0.028 3,705,367 389,064 4,094,430.91Consumer Spending (amount) Fuel Oil and Coal 0.01 1,323,345 1,323,345.48Consumer Spending (amount) Other Non-durables 0.017 2,249,687 112,484 2,362,171.68Consumer Spending (amount) Housing 0.296 39,171,026 39,171,026.12Consumer Spending (amount) Household Operation 0.018 2,382,022 2,382,021.86Consumer Spending (amount) Transportation 0.01 1,323,345 1,323,345.48Consumer Spending (amount) Medical Care 0.048 6,352,058 6,352,058.29Consumer Spending (amount) Other Services 0.21 27,790,255 27,790,255.02TOTAL 1 131,163,387 2,071,499 132,334,548Government Spending state 9,517,013 Suffolk 1,016,945 4 Co. Region 4,955,655 Rest of MA 3, 544,414
Number of Jobs Supported in Massachusetts 1,104Gross Regional Product Contribution (Massachusetts) $ 123,646,096Total Output Contribution (Massachusetts) $ 203,505,300Indirect Personal Income Generated (Massachusetts) $ 38,060,000 Total State Income Tax Paid $ 7,445,514Total State Sales Taxes Paid $ 2,071,499Total Federal Income Taxes Paid $ 26,591,121
Brazilians contribute to Boston’s economy through entrepreneurship. They own more than 150 small businesses in the greater Boston area specializing in restaurants, grocery, travel and insurance among other industry sectors. Combined these businesses: Represent more than $40 million in annual sales; Employ more than 400 people; Contribute $24 million to the regional product; Contribute $2 million in State and Federal taxes; Contribute to a total of 653 direct and indirect jobs to the region.
No. of Businesses 150Total Number of Employees (Direct Jobs) 400 Restaurants 200 Grocery Stores 100 Travel Agencies 60 Insurance Agencies 40
Total Number of Direct and Indirect Jobs Supported in Massachusetts 653Non-Direct Jobs Supported in Massachusetts 253Total Gross Regional Product Contribution in Massachusetts $ 60,719,065Non-Direct Gross Regional Product Contribution in Massachusetts(Non-Brazilian) $ 23,542,230Total Output Contribution in Massachusetts $ 108,868,685Non-Direct Output Contribution in Massachusetts (Non-Brazilian) $ 42,210,987Total Personal Income Generated in Massachusetts $ 26,180,000Non-Direct Personal Income Generated in Massachusetts (Non-Brazilian) $ 10,150,611Total State Income Tax paid (Non-Direct/Non Brazilian Workers) $ 426,326Total State Sales Taxes Paid (Non-Direct/Non Brazilian Workers) $ 25,504Total Federal Income Taxes Paid (Non-Direct/Non Brazilian Workers) $ 1,522,592
Total Number of Jobs Created 1,757Gross Regional Product contribution(Massachusetts) $147,188,326Total Output Contribution in Massachusetts $245,716,287Total Non-direct Personal Income Generated inMassachusetts $ 48,210,611Total State Income Taxes Generated $ 7,871,840Total State Sales Taxes Generated $ 2,097,003Total Federal Income Taxes Generated $ 28,113,713