New American Economy has developed a series of research briefs that examine the demographic and economic contributions of immigrant communities in counties and cities across the United States. The latest report in the series focuses on San José and Santa Clara County. The brief shows that Santa Clara County’s 1.9 million immigrant residents–who account for roughly 38 percent of the area’s population–positively impact the local economy through their high rates of workforce participation, large tax contributions, and spending power.
The report, “New Americans in San José and Santa Clara County,” finds that in 2014:
- Immigrants in Santa Clara County contributed roughly $76.6 billion to the county’s economy through consumption and tax contributions.
- Foreign-born households held $26.5 billion in spending power–more than 46 percent of the county’s total spending power–and paid $7.1 billion in federal taxes and almost $3 billion in state and local taxes.
- Immigrants in Santa Clara County contributed $4.5 billion and $1 billion to Social Security and Medicare, respectively.
- Immigrants make up 46.5 percent of Santa Clara County’s labor force, and are the majority share of workers in some of the county’s most important industries. For example, immigrants make up 59.4 percent and 55.6 percent of the county’s manufacturing and professional/scientific/technical services labor force, respectively.
- Between 2010 and 2014, immigration to Santa Clara County increased the area’s total housing value by more than $10.4 billion.
- The 12,375 international students enrolled in the county’s colleges and universities supported around 4,702 jobs and contributed $425 million in spending to the local economy.
This report is released in conjunction with the announcement that San José is one of 20 communities selected in the Gateways for Growth Challenge, an opportunity from NAE and Welcoming America that invited communities across the United States to apply for support for the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans.