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Immigrants and the economy in:

New Hampshire
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Today, almost 75,000 immigrants call New Hampshire home. The state’s recent increase in immigrant residents has helped the state to stave off the sort of population decline—or sluggish growth—that has recently hurt other nearby states, most notable Maine and Vermont. New Hampshire’s new Americans serve as everything from computer programmers to physicians, making them important contributors to New Hampshire’s economic success overall.

  • Immigrant Residents

  • Immigrant Share of Population

  • Immigrant Taxes Paid

  • Immigrant Spending Power

  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

  • Employees at Immigrant-Owned Firms



In the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their U.S.-born counterparts. This allows them to contribute to the U.S. economy and to entitlement programs as they work and pay taxes. As New Hampshire's slow population growth may potentially deprive businesses of customers and employers of a workforce they can depend on as more baby boomers retire, immigrants are likely to help to address some of these demographic challenges.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-15 7.2% 17.5%
16-64 77.7% 65.3%
65+ 15.1% 17.1%


In 2010, roughly one in 10 American workers with jobs at private firms were employed at immigrant-founded companies. Such businesses also generated more than $775 billion in annual business revenue that year. In New Hampshire, like the country as a whole, immigrants are currently punching above their weight class as entrepreneurs, with almost 5,000 immigrants owning their own business in the state.

People employed by immigrant-owned firms 20,882
Immigrant entrepreneurs 4,925
Business income of immigrant-owned firms $80.2M

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.4 trillion in 2016 and contributed more than $117 billion in state and local taxes, as well as almost $262 billion in federal taxes. This left them with more than $1.0 billion in spending power. Immigrants in New Hampshire play an important role contributing to the state’s economy both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $2.7B
Taxes Paid $691.5M
State & Local Taxes $152.6M
Federal Taxes $538.9M
Total Spending Power $2.0B


Nationally, immigrants are 9.2 percent more likely to hold an advanced degree than the native-born. They are also more likely to have less than a high school education. Uniquely, this allows them to fill critical shortages at both ends of the skill spectrum, from high-tech fields to agriculture, hospitality, and service industries. This holds true in New Hampshire, where immigrants play a particularly large role as software developers, maids, and computer programmers.

Educational Attainment by Nativity, Age 25+
Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 14.0% 6.5%
High School & Some College 44.7% 57.2%
Bachelor's Degree 21.0% 22.4%
Graduate Degree 20.3% 14.0%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Computer systems design and related services 13.8%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools 13.3%
Insurance carriers and related activities 8.1%
Hospitals 7.5%
Restaurants and other food services 5.3%
Top Occupations with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers 6.4%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers 5.9%
Miscellaneous managers, including funeral service 5.7%
Janitors and building cleaners 4.2%
Secretaries and administrative assistants 3.5%

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Between 2014 and 2024, science, technology, engineering, and math—or “STEM”—fields are projected to play a key role in U.S. economic growth, adding almost 800,000 new jobs and growing 37.0 percent faster than the U.S. economy as a whole. Immigrants are already playing a huge part ensuring that New Hampshire remains a leading innovator in industries like computer programming and technical services.

STEM workers who are immigrants 10.7%
STEM Master's students who are foreign nationals 22.9%
STEM PhD students who are foreign nationals 32.9%


In the coming years, the American healthcare industry is projected to see rapid growth—adding more new positions from 2014 to 2024 than any other industry in our economy. In New Hampshire, a state where nearly one out of every 7 people is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge—and one that will likely worsen in the future.

Open healthcare jobs to unemployed healthcare workers 26:1
Doctors who were educated abroad 20.1%
Psychiatrists who were educated abroad 19.9%
Nurses who are foreign-born 4.5%
Health aides who are foreign-born 7.7%


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. In New Hampshire, immigrants are actively strengthening the state’s housing market.

Immigrant homeowners 17,354
Share of recent homebuyers who were foreign-born 5.3%
Housing wealth held by immigrant households $5.3B
Amount paid by immigrant-led households in rent $138.2M

International Students

International students in the United States contributed more than $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy in the 2016-2017 school year and supported more than 450,000 jobs through their tuition payments and day-to-day spending. Research has also found that increases in the number of international students at American universities boost innovation and patent creation. International students represent a small portion of all students in New Hampshire, but they make a big impact.

Students at New Hampshire colleges and universities who are international students 2.7%
Economic contribution of international students $118.7M
Jobs supported by international students 1,434

Voting Power

In 2016, New Hampshire was home to roughly 36,000 foreign-born residents who were eligible to vote, including an estimated 24,000 foreign-born residents who had formally registered. Those numbers are particularly meaningful given the narrow margins of victory that have decided elections in the state in recent years. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire by less than 3,000 votes.

Immigrants eligible to vote 36,456
Immigrants registered to vote 24,657
Immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 40,766
2016 presidential election margin of victory 2,736

Undocumented Immigrants

The United States is currently home to an estimated 11.0 million undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom have lived in the country for more than five years. The presence of so many undocumented immigrants for such a long time presents many legal and political challenges. But while politicians continue to debate what to do about illegal immigration without any resolution, millions of undocumented immigrants are actively working across the country, and collectively, these immigrants have a large impact on the U.S. economy. This is true in New Hampshire, where undocumented immigrants contribute millions of dollars in taxes each year.

Undocumented immigrants 16,490
Share of undocumented immigrants, working age 83.5%

The Economic Impact of Refugees

Despite leaving extreme and dangerous situations in their home countries, refugees are often able to rebound and prosper as they become more integrated into American society. Nationwide, we find that refugees hold billions of dollars in spending power and pay more than $20 billion in tax contributions to federal, state, and local governments each year. At the state level, they contribute millions of added dollars to local economies, making them an important driver of growth and prosperity for communities around the country.

Key Stats
Number of Likely Refugees 6,076
State's Share of all Likely Refugees 0.3%
Share of Overall State Population, Refugee 0.5%
Taxes & Spending Power
Refugee Household Income $141.7M
Taxes Paid $31.9M
State & Local Taxes $8.8M
Federal Taxes $23.1M
Refugee Spending Power $109.9M

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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…