Some of America’s most recognizable companies were started by migrants. Do you know which ones?

Elon Musk, originally from South Africa, is an automotive pioneer with his California-based Tesla Motors. (© AP Images)

The United Nations estimates that 232 million people live outside of their country of birth. Many of these migrants moved to make a better life for themselves and their children. But they aren’t the only ones who have benefitted.

International migration has a positive impact on migrants’ home and host countries. Not only do migrants contribute  to the economies of their host countries, but in many cases they send money back to family members in their home countries. This money, called remittances, far exceeds the amount of global foreign aid and makes a significant difference in the lives of those who receive it.

The U.N. designated December 18 International Migrants Day to raise awareness of how migrants who have moved under duress or in search of opportunity contribute to communities and economies worldwide.

Migrants have long played important roles in all parts of the U.S. economy. In fact, some of the most recognizable American companies were started by migrants, many of whom became permanent immigrants and eventually U.S. citizens. Can you guess what countries their founders came from?

Graphic showing jigsaw puzzle pieces listing countries and companies (State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)
(State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)

You can join the global celebration by sharing stories of how migrants are positively contributing to your community using #IAmAMigrant.

(Answers: Google – Sergey Brin, Russia; eBay – Pierre Omidyar, France/Iran; Tesla Motors – Elon Musk, South Africa; WhatsApp – Jan Koum, Ukraine; Hotmail – Sabeer Bhatia, India)