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Research Brief Shows New Americans Growing Dayton’s Economy, Reversing Population Decline

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Sarah Doolin, New American Economy, sarah@renewoureconomy.org

Between 2009 and 2013, Dayton, Ohio’s Foreign-Born Population Increased 58.8 Percent While the Native-Born Population Fell 8.6 Percent

In 2012, Foreign-Born Households in the City of Dayton Held More Than $115 Million in Spending Power and Contributed More Than $15 Million in State and Local Taxes

Dayton, OH — Today, the New American Economy and Welcome Dayton released research highlighting the economic impact of attracting and retaining new foreign-born residents in Dayton. The brief was published as the City of Dayton prepares to host representatives from communities across 10 Midwest states to highlight immigrant economic development initiatives.

“This new research reinforces something we already know: that attracting and retaining immigrants helps drive economic growth and prosperity for communities across the United States,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of the New American Economy. “Dayton’s innovative approach to welcoming new Americans is paying off and helping to reverse years of population decline.”

“Dayton is in the midst of steady economic and community revival, and immigrants play a crucial role in this effort. They inject new life into our neighborhoods, they patronize and create local businesses, and they contribute to our state and local communities’ tax bases,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “Dayton proudly welcomes our newest residents who continue to make us a strong, sustainable, and competitive city.”

“Dayton is proud to be a pioneer in the welcoming movement, and the data provided by the Partnership for a New American Economy shows the value of our welcoming strategy for Dayton and Daytonians,” said Matt Joseph, Dayton City Commissioner and Welcome Dayton Committee Chair. “The data confirms how immigrants are helping to rebuild our population of productive citizens, in turn creating jobs and opportunities for more Daytonians.”

The brief finds:

  • New Americans are helping to reverse Dayton’s population decline: Between 2009 and 2013, the native-born population of Dayton decreased by 8.6 percent, but the foreign-born population increased by 58.8 percent.

  • They also wield considerable economic weight: In 2012, foreign-born households in Dayton held more than $115 million in spending power and contributed more than $15 million in state and local taxes.

  • New Americans in Dayton are more than twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as the native-born: 15.3 percent of foreign-born residents are self-employed compared with 6.1 percent of the native-born.

  • Other Ohio cities facing population decline could potentially benefit from an outcome similar to Dayton’s: Data shows that if Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo had each attracted immigrants at the same overall rate as Dayton between 2007 and 2012, all three cities would have reversed their population decline over the same period.

See the full research brief, “Welcome to Dayton: How Immigrants are Helping to Grow Dayton’s Economy and Reverse Population Decline

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