Cincinnati Moves Up Ranking of Immigrant-Friendly Cities

Cincinnati landed at number 15 on an index ranking cities' friendliness to immigrants, moving up three spots from last year.

Father Jim Schutte baptizes the child of Guatemalan immigrants at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Cincinnati as congregants who are refugees from Burundi look on - NICK SWARTSELL
Nick Swartsell
Father Jim Schutte baptizes the child of Guatemalan immigrants at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Cincinnati as congregants who are refugees from Burundi look on

Cincinnati moved up three places this year on an index of immigrant-friendly cities, landing in the top 15 on that list.

Last year, the Queen City was number 18 on the New American Economy Cities Index, which ranks the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas on 51 factors related to the socioeconomic status of immigrants and municipal policies aimed at improving that status. This year, Cincinnati moved up three spots to number 15.

Criteria included homeownership and employment rates for immigrants, wage protection for immigrant workers, whether the city has an immigrant welcome office and immigrant liaisons and hires immigrants for the municipal workforce and whether municipal ID cards are available for immigrants, plus a number of other factors.

City leaders touted efforts to better integrate immigrants to the Queen City. Those initiatives have included an immigration welcome task force Mayor John Cranley announced in 2014 and the creation of a municipal identification card program approved by Cincinnati City Council. 

"This ranking reflects the ongoing efforts across the city and region to welcome immigrants that call Cincinnati and the Cincinnati region home," Cranley said in a statement. "It is a testament to the work and the fulfillment of a vision set out by the Task Force on Immigration." 

Chicago led the rankings this year with an overall score of 4.38 out of five. Rounding out the top 10: Chula Vista, California; Jersey City, New Jersey; San Francisco; Baltimore; New York City; San Jose, California; Newark, New Jersey; Anaheim, California; and Portland, Oregon. 

Cincinnati scored 3.73 out of five, winning a 4.2 score for policy efforts and a 3.25 score for immigrants' socioeconomic status. 

New American Economy is a group of mayors and business organizations assembled by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg along with media magnate Rupert Murdoch. The index is put together under an advisory of immigration researchers and experts from universities and think tanks. 


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