One in six Fayette County residents is from a foreign country. These immigrants come from all over the world for an education, or a job or to join their families here. And they are making Lexington home in growing numbers, according to city officials.
“There are more and more immigrants coming to the Fayette County area every day,” said Isabelle Taylor, who works for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in the International Affairs Department.
In 2016, the International Affairs Department estimated that 56,000 immigrants lived in Lexington. The total population is estimated at 314,546, according to the department.
The growth is particularly noticeable in public school students, too. In the 2005-06 school year there were 1,520 non-English speaking students in the Fayette County Public Schools system. In 2015-16, there are 5,605 non-English speakers, an increase of 269 percent.
As more and more immigrants make Lexington home, the number of immigrant-owned businesses has grown. Here are just a few examples of how immigrants are affecting the local economy with their local businesses.
Physician also works in investment banking, equine insuranceDr. Lachin Hatemi immigrated from Iran and Turkey to become a nuclear medicine physician, start his global advisory firm and to work in equine insurance.
Hatemi, 34, moved to the United States at 17 with his family. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with two degrees: computer science and electrical engineering. He attended UK’s medical school and later finished his residency at the University at Buffalo in New York.
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