Immigrants and the economy in:

Des Moines Metro Area

  • Immigrant Residents

  • Immigrant Share of Population

  • Immigrant Taxes Paid

  • Immigrant Spending Power

  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

  • Data Year



In the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their U.S.-born counterparts. This is true as well for every metro area featured in Map the Impact. This means immigrants are more likely to be active in the labor force, allowing them to contribute to the economy not only as consumers but also as taxpayers, helping fund social services and programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share U.S.-Born Population Share
0-15 8.5% 23.8%
16-64 84.7% 62.5%
65+ 6.8% 13.6%


The growth in the immigrant population has helped to strengthen America’s labor force. As baby boomers retire, younger immigrants are filling critical gaps in the market. Nationally, immigrants are more likely to hold an advanced degree than the U.S.-born. They are also more likely to have less than a high school education. In many cities across the country, their unique educational profile allows immigrants to fill labor shortages at both ends of the skill spectrum, from high-tech fields to more manual sectors like construction or food service.

Educational Attainment by Nativity, Age 25+
Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population U.S.-Born Population
Less Than High School 30.7% 5.4%
High School & Some College 43.9% 57.5%
Bachelor's Degree 15.6% 25.8%
Graduate Degree 9.7% 11.4%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
17.3% Manufacturing
16.1% Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation
14.2% Administrative Support
13.4% Construction
9.6% Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Voting Power

As more immigrants naturalize and become eligible to vote, they continue to gain power at the voting booth. The number of immigrant voters is only projected to rise in the next decade, but already in some states and cities, foreign-born voters are already capable of deciding the outcome of local elections.

Immigrants Eligible to Vote 21,440

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

Immigrant Homeowners 10,611

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationwide, immigrant households contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal income, state, and local taxes nationwide and hold a tremendous amount of spending power. This gives them significant economic clout, even at a local level, where they help support local communities as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $1.4B
Taxes Paid $362.3M
State & Local Taxes $139.6M
Federal Taxes $222.7M
Total Spending Power $1.0B

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…