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Immigrants and the economy in:

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Wyoming today is home to more than 20,000 immigrants. These immigrants play an important role in contributing to the state as both taxpayers and consumers. They also help ensure that Wyoming remains a leading innovator in STEM fields, like mining, engineering, and advanced manufacturing, and strengthen the state’s housing market.

  • Immigrant Residents

  • Immigrant Share of Population

  • Immigrant Taxes Paid

  • Immigrant Spending Power

  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs

  • Employees at Immigrant-Owned Firms (Combined with Alaska)



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. This is equally true in Wyoming, where immigrants are far more likely to be of working age than the U.S.-born population.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-15 7.1% 22.0%
16-64 83.2% 62.9%
65+ 9.7% 15.1%


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 Wyoming, like the country as a whole, immigrants are currently punching above their weight class as entrepreneurs.

People employed by immigrant-owned firms (combined with Alaska) 15,512
Immigrant entrepreneurs 1,496
Business income of immigrant-owned firms $46.5M

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 Wyoming play an important role contributing to the state’s economy both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $651.8M
Taxes Paid $147.5M
State & Local Taxes $29.9M
Federal Taxes $117.6M
Total Spending Power $504.3M


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 Wyoming, where immigrants play a particularly large role in the state's management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry, as well as in the traveler accommodation industry and nursing care facilities.

Educational Attainment by Nativity, Age 25+
Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 23.9% 6.0%
High School & Some College 44.9% 67.7%
Bachelor's Degree 13.4% 17.3%
Graduate Degree 17.9% 9.0%
Top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers
Construction 9.4%
Restaurants and other food services 7.7%
Hospitals 3.5%
Elementary and secondary schools 2.8%

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 Wyoming remains a leading innovator in STEM fields like mining engineering and advanced manufacturing.

STEM workers who are immigrants 3.5%
STEM Master's students who are foreign nationals 25.4%
STEM PhD students who are foreign nationals 37.1%


In the coming years, the American healthcare industry is projected to see incredibly rapid growth—adding more new positions from 2014 to 2024 than any other industry in our economy. In Wyoming, a state where more than one out of every seven residents is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge—and one that will likely worsen in the future. Immigrants, however, are already helping fill gaps in the healthcare workforce.

Open healthcare jobs to unemployed healthcare workers 11:1
Doctors who were educated abroad 15.8%
Psychiatrists who were educated abroad 23.1%
Nurses who are foreign-born 5.2%
Health aides who are foreign-born 3.6%


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 Wyoming, immigrants are actively strengthening the state’s housing market.

Immigrant homeowners 4,448
Share of recent homebuyers who were foreign-born 2.8%
Housing wealth held by immigrant households $948.4M
Amount paid by immigrant-led households in rent $45.4M

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 Wyoming, but they make a big impact.

Students at Wyoming colleges and universities who are international students 3.3%
Economic contribution of international students $21.4M
Jobs supported by international students 199

Voting Power

Nationwide, the power of immigrant voters is likely to continue to be a large factor in upcoming elections. Given their modest numbers, immigrants may not sway presidential elections in Wyoming where Donald Trump won by roughly 118,000 votes in 2016, but their votes may make a difference in closer statewide contests and primaries in the near future.

Immigrants eligible to vote 7,325
Immigrants registered to vote 3,988
Immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 7,717
2016 presidential election margin of victory 118,446

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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…