New data shows immigrant-owned businesses employed 8 million Americans; Immigrants wield $1.1 trillion in spending power. Learn more at Map the Impact.
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Immigrants and the economy in:

Chattanooga Metro Area

  • Immigrant Residents

  • Immigrant Share of Population

  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2016)

  • Immigrant Spending Power (2016)

  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs



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 16 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 6.0% 19.7%
16-64 82.6% 63.8%
65+ 11.4% 16.5%


Nationally, immigrants are 8.5 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than the native-born. 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.

Educational Attainment by Nativity, Age 25+
Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 31.9% 14.3%
High School & Some College 35.2% 61.7%
Bachelor's Degree 20.6% 15.3%
Graduate Degree 12.3% 8.7%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
9.9% Construction
9.1% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
7.6% Administrative Support
7.5% Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation
7.2% General Services

Voting Power

Nationally, 20.4 million immigrants were eligible to vote in 2016—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 8,096

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 3,999

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.4 trillion in 2016 and contributed $117.9 billion in state and local taxes and $261.7 billion in federal taxes. This left them with 1 trillion in spending power. Immigrants play an important role contributing to local economies both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $497.8M
Taxes Paid $116.9M
State & Local Taxes $33.2M
Federal Taxes $83.7M
Total Spending Power $381.0M


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? 1,110
How much more likely are immigrant residents to be entrepreneurs than native-born residents? 4.9%

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…