Over the past several years, the city has become a virtual melting pot as a steady influx of immigrants and refugees from countries like Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Syria and Iraq have started calling Akron home.
And they couldn’t have come soon enough.
Like many Rust Belt cities, Akron was hit hard when the manufacturing jobs — especially in the auto and tire making industries — started disappearing in the early 2000s. Once the jobs were gone, the population started shrinking.
But in recent years a growing number of immigrants have started moving in. Between 2007 and 2013, Akron’s foreign born population increased by 30.8% from 7,208 to 9,426, helping to stem what could have been a devastating population decline, according to a study by a bipartisan group of 500 mayors and business leaders called the Partnership for a New American Economy.
“We were losing people like most Midwestern cities,” said Akron’s mayor Daniel Horrigan. “The foreign-born people are helping us. They want to send their kids to school, they buy houses and they pay taxes.”
Read the full article: “How Immigrants Helped Save the Economy of Akron, OH”
Read the related NAE report: Welcome to Akron