Jersey City Rises in Ranks among the top cities across the U.S. for Integrating Immigrants

(Press Release)

Comprehensive study into integration policies and outcomes names Jersey City the

3rd best out of the 100 largest U.S. cities.

JERSEY CITY –Mayor Steven Fulop is pleased to announce that Jersey City has been named third-best city in the United States for integrating immigrants in the 2019 Cities Index.  Rising from the 20th spot in 2018, efforts taken over the last year have boosted Jersey City’s rank to 3rd on the 2019 New American Economy (NAE) Cities Index, earning distinctions in top categories including: Government Leadership, Inclusivity, Community, Legal Support, Economic Prosperity, and Livability.

With one of the highest immigrant populations nationwide, Mayor Fulop declared Jersey City a Sanctuary City for undocumented immigrants in 2017, and has been at the forefront on offering immigrant services.  Just last year, the city’s first-ever Division of Immigrant Affairs was establish to directly address concerns of all immigrant communities and build partnerships with the nonprofit organizations that serve them, particularly in the areas of health and human services, increasing access to immigration legal services, education, English language acquisition, jobs training, enrollment in public benefits, civic engagement, and other public and nonprofit services.

“By focusing on health and partnerships, Jersey City doesn’t just call itself a Sanctuary City, it acts like one,” said Mayor Fulop.  “The improvements in health lead to long-term successes, for immigrants and for our city overall. This is how Jersey City and others are shifting the national narrative on immigration. Immigrants are our allies, and we are proud to be one of the most welcoming and supportive cities in country.”

According to the Cities Index findings, the top ranked cities produce more foreign-born entrepreneurs, higher naturalization rates, and more college-educated immigrants than most other cities.  In fact, Jersey City’s 80% naturalization rate nearly doubles the national average.

“In 2018, with the support of the Mayor and City Council, we were able to reshape our human services portfolio to include services to the city’s most vulnerable,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. “We have increased our capacity and leadership to streamline services, and while we will always have more work to do, it’s important to take a moment to give thanks.  Thank you the community that has put their trust in us, and the many staff they have been a part of moving Jersey City forward.”

NAE findings for the City of Jersey City include:

  • In 2017, 5.9% of all immigrants in Jersey City were entrepreneurs.
  • 49,657 immigrants in Jersey City were naturalized citizens in 2017.
  • 48.7% of immigrants in JC had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2017.


“The index rating reflects the power of community partnerships, and signals to cities across the country that when we welcome immigrants and serve the underserved, we all succeed,” said Michael McLean, Director of the Division of Immigrant Affairs.

The top 25 cities in the Index are attracting larger shares of highly skilled immigrant and U.S.-born residents, making them more competitive for business and economic investment, are more likely to see greater job creation, benefit from greater equity between immigrants and the U.S.-born across key measures of quality of life, among other benefits according to the NAE.


About New American Economy

The NAE Cities Index is the first and only comprehensive, national assessment of how well the largest 100 cities are integrating immigrants. It measures integration by looking at local immigration policies as well as the socioeconomic outcomes of immigrants to see how similar they are to their U.S.-born neighbors. Policy factors include things like language access policies and support for immigrant entrepreneurs, and socioeconomic outcomes include employment and homeownership rates, among others. A total of 51 factors determine how well cities are creating environments that help immigrants and communities overall succeed.


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