Immigrant entrepreneurs have long been an important part of America’s economic success story. Some of the largest and most recognizable American companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, including household names such as Apple and Costco, as well as newcomers to the Fortune 500 list like Broadcom and Intuit. Even Levi’s was created by two immigrants, Levi Strauss from Germany and Jacob Davis from Latvia, who invented that now iconic staple of the American wardrobe—blue jeans.
Since our first New American Fortune 500 report in 2011, NAE found that more than two out of every five Fortune 500—the 500 largest corporation by revenue in the country—had at least one immigrant or child-of-immigrant founder. This pattern has continued over the years since. This year, we find that an even higher, share—almost 45 percent—of Fortune 500 companies,were founded by immigrants or their children.