Immigrants from countries like India, China and Taiwan play a key role in creation of wealth and jobs in the United States, a new study said.
Nationwide, 25.3% of tech and engineering companies started between 1995 and 2005 had founders who come from overseas, according to "America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs," a report written by researchers from Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Interestingly, only 11.7% of the US population is foreign-born, according to US Census data.
Immigrant entrepreneurs' companies employed 4,50,000 workers and generated $52 billion in sales in 2005, according to the survey.
Indian immigrants founded more tech startups than people from the four next biggest sources -- United Kingdom, China, Taiwan and Japan -- combined. Of the estimated 7,300 US tech startups founded by immigrants, Indians accounted for about 26%, the study found.
California led the nation, with foreign-born entrepreneurs setting up 39% of startups, compared to 25% of the state's population.
In Silicon Valley the impact of immigrants is even more profound as more than half (52%) of the start ups established in the past decade are established by people born overseas, with Indians once again leading the pack. In 1999 this number stood at 25%.
In many ways, Silicon Valley's risk-taking ethos is a perfect fit for immigrants who often chance everything to come to the United States.