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:

Grand Rapids Metro Area

  • Immigrant Residents

    67,893
  • Immigrant Share of Population

    6.6%
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid

    $419.4M
  • Immigrant Spending Power

    $1.3B
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    2,465

Demographics

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 8.2% 23.0%
16-64 80.6% 64.0%
65+ 11.2% 13.0%

Workforce

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 31.9% 7.8%
High School & Some College 41.2% 60.6%
Bachelor's Degree 15.5% 21.4%
Graduate Degree 11.4% 10.3%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
32.4% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
13.0% Manufacturing
8.6% Transportation and Warehousing
8.5% Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation
8.3% Administrative Support

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.

Eligible Immigrant Voters 26,803

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.

Number of Homes Owned by Immigrants 14,309

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 $1.7B
Taxes Paid $419.4M
State & Local Taxes $135.7M
Federal Taxes $283.7M
Total Spending Power $1.3B

Entrepreneurship

It is hard to overstate the importance of entrepreneurship since new businesses are the main driver of job growth in the United States. Immigrants play a particularly important role in this—founding businesses at far higher rates than the U.S. population overall. Their knack for starting businesses is an important source of new job creation in cities across the country.

How many immigrant entrepreneurs reside in this metro area? 2,465

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…