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Immigrants and the economy in:

Wyoming
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Wyoming today is home to more than 23,000 immigrants. These immigrants play an important role in contributing to the state as both taxpayers and consumers. They also help ensure that Wyoming remains a leading innovator in STEM fields, like mining engineering and advanced manufacturing, and strengthen the state’s housing market.

  • Immigrant Residents

    23,437
  • Immigrant Share of Population

    4.0%
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2014)

    $107.6M
  • Immigrant Spending Power (2014)

    $449.0M
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    647
  • Employees at Immigrant-Owned Firms (Combined with Alaska)

    15,512

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 Wyoming, 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 19.9% 33.8%
25-64 70.5% 52.6%
65+ 9.6% 13.6%

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 Wyoming, like the country as a whole, immigrants are currently punching above their weight class as entrepreneurs.

People employed by immigrant-owned firms (combined with Alaska) 15,512
Immigrant entrepreneurs 647
Business income of immigrant-owned firms $10.6M
Fortune 500 companies in Wyoming founded by immigrants or their children 41.4%

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 Wyoming play an important role contributing to the state’s economy, both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $556.7M
Taxes Paid $107.6M
State & Local Taxes $30.2M
Federal Taxes $77.4M
Total Spending Power $449.0M

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. This holds true in Wyoming, where immigrants play a particularly large role in the state's management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry, as well as in the traveler accommodation industry and nursing care facilities.

Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 39.8% 6.2%
High School & Some College 34.9% 67.9%
Bachelor's Degree 10.1% 17.2%
Graduate Degree 15.2% 8.7%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services  19.8%
Residential care facilities, except skilled nursing facilities 19.3%
Traveler accommodation  16.4%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)  16.3%
Religious organizations  14.3%
Top Occupations with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Dishwashers 37.2%
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 30.7%
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 26.8%
Clergy 23.3%
Postsecondary Teachers 19.7%

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 Wyoming remains a leading innovator in STEM fields like mining engineering and advanced manufacturing.

STEM workers who are immigrants 3.4%
STEM Master’s students who are foreign nationals 29.3%
STEM PhD students who are foreign nationals 53.9%

Healthcare

In the coming years, the American healthcare industry is projected to see incredibly rapid growth—adding more new positions from 2014 to 2024 than any other industry in our economy. In Wyoming, a state where more than one out of every seven residents is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge—and one that will likely worsen in the future. Immigrants, however, are already helping fill gaps in the healthcare workforce.

Open healthcare jobs to unemployed healthcare workers 6:1
Doctors who were educated abroad 15.8%
Psychiatrists who were educated abroad 23.1%
Nurses who are foreign-born 1.1%
Health aides who are foreign-born 4.3%

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 Wyoming, immigrants are actively strengthening the state’s housing market.

Immigrant homeowners 5,185
Share of recent homebuyers who were foreign-born 5.8%
Housing wealth held by immigrant households $1.0B
Amount paid by immigrant-led households in rent $4.3M

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 Wyoming, but they make a big impact.

Students at Wyoming colleges and universities who are international 3.1%
Economic contribution of international students $20.9M
Jobs supported by international students 200

Voting Power

Nationwide, the power of immigrant voters is likely to continue to be a large factor in upcoming elections. Given their modest numbers, immigrants may not sway presidential elections in Wyoming, where Mitt Romney won by roughly 102,000 votes in 2012, but their votes may make a difference in closer statewide contests and primaries in the near future.

Immigrants eligible to vote 7,192
Immigrants registered to vote 3,053
Immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 8,073
2012 presidential election margin of victory 101,676

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 Wyoming, where undocumented immigrants contribute millions of dollars in taxes each year.

Undocumented immigrants 10,243
Share of undocumented immigrants, working age 79.4%
Undocumented entrepreneurs 340
Undocumented Household Income $140.7M
Taxes Paid $12.7M
State & Local Taxes $4.1M
Federal Taxes $8.6M
Total Spending Power $128.0M

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