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Immigrants and the economy in:

Nevada

Today, Nevada is home to almost 550,000 immigrants—a group that makes up almost one out of every five residents in the state overall. In only four other U.S. states is the average resident more likely to be foreign-born. These new Americans play an outsize role in industries that support Nevada’s booming tourism market, providing companies with the workers they need to expand and thrive in the state.

  • Immigrant Residents

    548,186
  • Immigrant Share of Population

    19.3%
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2014)

    $2.9B
  • Immigrant Spending Power (2014)

    $10.3B
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    31,972
  • Employees at Immigrant-Owned Firms

    61,196

Demographics

In the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their U.S.-born counterparts. This allows them to contribute to the U.S. economy and to entitlement programs as they work and pay taxes. This is equally true in Nevada, where immigrants are far more likely to be of working age than the U.S.-born population.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-24 11.9% 37.3%
25-64 74.5% 48.4%
65+ 13.6% 14.3%

Entrepreneurship

In 2010, roughly one in 10 American workers with jobs at private firms were employed at immigrant-founded companies. Such businesses also generated more than $775 billion in annual business revenue that year. In Nevada, like the country as a whole, immigrants are currently punching far above their weight class as entrepreneurs. Foreign-born workers currently make up 29.9 percent of all entrepreneurs in the state, despite accounting for 19.3 percent of Nevada’s population.

People employed by immigrant-owned firms 61,196
Immigrant entrepreneurs 31,972
Business income of immigrant-owned firms $795.3M
Fortune 500 companies in Nevada founded by immigrants or their children 75.0%

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014 and contributed more than $104 billion in state and local taxes, as well as almost $224 billion in federal taxes. This left them with nearly $927 billion in spending power. Immigrants in Nevada play an important role contributing to the state’s economy, both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $13.2B
Taxes Paid $2.9B
State & Local Taxes $733.5M
Federal Taxes $2.2B
Total Spending Power $10.3B

Workforce

Nationally, immigrants are 17.2 percent more likely to hold an advanced degree than the native-born. They are also more likely to have less than a high school education. Uniquely, this allows them to fill critical shortages at both ends of the skill spectrum, from high-tech fields to agriculture, hospitality, and service industries. In Nevada, immigrants play a particularly large role as housekeeping workers, agricultural workers, and vehicle cleaners.

Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 31.9% 8.8%
High School & Some College 48.7% 67.0%
Bachelor's Degree 13.9% 15.6%
Graduate Degree 5.5% 8.6%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Services to buildings and dwellings  58.4%
Landscaping services  57.3%
Taxi and limousine service  43.6%
Traveler accommodation  42.2%
Other amusement, gambling, and recreation industries  36.2%
Top Occupations with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Maids and Housekeeping cleaners 72.0%
Miscellaneous agricultural workers, including animal breeders 58.4%
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment 57.9%
Food preparation workers 55.6%
Misc. food preparation and serving-related workers, including dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers 54.0%

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Between 2014 and 2024, science, technology, engineering, and math—or “STEM”—fields are projected to play a key role in U.S. economic growth, adding almost 800,000 new jobs and growing 37.0 percent faster than the U.S. economy as a whole. Immigrants are already playing a huge part ensuring that Nevada remains a leading innovator in industries like advanced manufacturing and energy.

STEM workers who are immigrants 14.8%
STEM Master’s students who are foreign nationals 21.2%
STEM PhD students who are foreign nationals 32.6%

Healthcare

In the coming years, the American healthcare industry is projected to see rapid growth—adding more new positions from 2014 to 2024 than any other industry in our economy. In Nevada, a state where nearly one out of every 7 people is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge—and one that will likely worsen in the future.

Open healthcare jobs to unemployed healthcare workers 6:1
Doctors who were educated abroad 31.0%
Psychiatrists who were educated abroad 38.1%
Nurses who are foreign-born 28.4%
Health aides who are foreign-born 26.3%

Housing

Immigrant families have long played an important role helping to build housing wealth in the United States. In recent decades, the more than 40 million immigrants collectively in the country increased U.S. housing wealth by $3.7 trillion. Much of this was possible because immigrants moved into neighborhoods once in decline, helping to revitalize communities and make them more attractive to U.S.-born residents. In Nevada, immigrants are actively strengthening the state’s housing market.

Immigrant homeowners 112,793
Share of recent homebuyers who were foreign-born 25.1%
Housing wealth held by immigrant households $23.2B
Amount paid by immigrant-led households in rent $103.9M

International Students

International students in the United States contributed more than $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy in the 2014-2015 school year and supported more than 370,000 jobs through their tuition payments and day-to-day spending. Research has found that increases in the number of international students at American universities boost innovation and patent creation. International students represent a small portion of all students in Nevada, but they make a big impact.

Students at Nevada colleges and universities who are international 2.2%
Economic contribution of international students $61.7M
Jobs supported by international students 723

Voting Power

In 2014, Nevada was home to almost 248,000 foreign-born residents who were eligible to vote, including an estimated 138,000 foreign-born residents who had formally registered. Those numbers are particularly meaningful given the narrow margins of victory that have decided elections in the state in recent years. In 2012, President Barack Obama won Nevada by less than 68,000 votes.

Immigrants eligible to vote 247,526
Immigrants registered to vote 138,114
Immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 269,508
2012 presidential election margin of victory 67,806

Undocumented Immigrants

The United States is currently home to an estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom have lived in the country for more than five years. The presence of so many undocumented immigrants for such a long time presents many legal and political challenges. But while politicians continue to debate what to do about illegal immigration without any resolution, millions of undocumented immigrants are actively working across the country, and collectively, these immigrants have a large impact on the U.S. economy. This is true in Nevada, where undocumented immigrants contribute hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes each year.

Undocumented immigrants 187,352
Share of undocumented immigrants, working age 80.4%
Undocumented entrepreneurs 15,092
Undocumented Household Income $2.6B
Taxes Paid $269.5M
State & Local Taxes $78.0M
Federal Taxes $191.5M
Total Spending Power $2.4B

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