January 21, 2022
Immigrants and the economy in:
Portland Metro Area
Immigrant Share of Population13.1%
Immigrant Taxes Paid$3.6B
Immigrant Spending Power$9.4B
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|
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.
|Workforce Education||Foreign-Born Population||U.S.-Born Population|
|Less Than High School||23.7%||4.4%|
|High School & Some College||40.0%||54.8%|
|38.7%||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting|
|18.8%||Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation|
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||160,867|
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.
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||$13.0B|
|— State & Local Taxes||$1.2B|
|— Federal Taxes||$2.5B|
|Total Spending Power||$9.4B|
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?||22,316|
|How much more likely are immigrant residents to be entrepreneurs than U.S.-born residents?||5.3%|
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…
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