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Immigrants and the economy in:

Atlanta Metro Area

  • Immigrant Residents

    797,830
  • Immigrant Share of Population

    13.8%
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2016)

    $6.9B
  • Immigrant Spending Power (2016)

    $19.3B
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    78,831

Demographics

Similar to the United States as a whole, immigrants in most cities are more likely to be of working age—defined as being between the ages of 25 and 64—than the native-born population. This allows them to contribute to U.S. entitlement programs and also assume roles helping seniors as they age.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-15 5.1% 24.8%
16-64 85.4% 63.3%
65+ 9.5% 11.9%

Workforce

Nationally, immigrants are 17.2 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than natives. They are also more likely to have less than a bachelor’s degree. This allows immigrants to fill positions at the high and low ends of the skill spectrum. Without immigrants, these positions might remain unfilled, hurting local businesses and leading employers to relocate elsewhere. Here, we show the educational attainment of immigrants in this metro area and the five industries where they make up the largest share of workers.

Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 24.2% 8.1%
High School & Some College 39.5% 54.0%
Bachelor's Degree 21.4% 24.1%
Graduate Degree 14.9% 13.9%
39.1% Construction
27.7% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
25.0% General Services
24.2% Administrative Support
20.4% Manufacturing

Voting Power

Nationally, there are more than 20 million immigrants that are eligible to vote—a group that could have a particularly important role in coming election cycles, given the narrow margins of victory that have decided presidential elections in recent years.

Eligible Immigrant Voters, 2016 327,264

Home Ownership

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 local communities and make them more attractive to U.S.-born residents.

Number of Homes Owned by Immigrants, 2014 180,609

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal income taxes as well as state and local taxes. After paying taxes, immigrants still have significant economic clout, to the sum of nearly $1 trillion in spending power. Immigrants play an important role contributing to local economies both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $26.2B
Taxes Paid $6.9B
State & Local Taxes $2.2B
Federal Taxes $4.7B
Total Spending Power $19.3B

Entrepreneurship

Immigrants nationally are 28 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than natives. In 2010, roughly one in 10 American workers with jobs at private firms were employed at immigrant-founded companies. Immigrants similarly play an important role as entrepreneurs in this metro area.

How many immigrant entrepreneurs reside in this metro area? 78,831
How much more likely are immigrant residents to be entrepreneurs than native-born residents? 62.3%

Take Action

Make your voice heard on immigration reform by tweeting at @KeishaBottoms, the mayor in your area.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…