Foreign-born residents in Toledo contribute millions through spending power and paying taxes, and they have offset some of the area’s decades of population loss, according to a report released today detailing the economic impact of immigrants.
The report — issued by Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, the county’s welcoming initiative, and developed by the pro-immigration coalition Partnership for a New American Economy — gives a snapshot of the economic and demographic effects of immigration.
An influx of foreign-born residents offset some of the population loss in the city. While the overall population dropped from 315,701 in 2000 to 277,933 in 2014, Toledo’s foreign-born population rose from 8,974 to 10,288 during the same period.
The report uses demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Mexico, China, and Lebanon were the top countries of origin for immigrants living Toledo between 2007 and 2012.
The report estimates that based on income, Toledo immigrants in 2012 contributed $31 million in state and local taxes, which include property, income, sales, and excise taxes. The report also found immigrants in Toledo have an estimated $242 million in combined spending power.
Citing a 2013 study published by Partnership for a New American Economy, today’s report shows immigrants have increased the total housing value in Lucas County by $45.9 million between 2000 and 2010.
About 32 percent of immigrants in Toledo have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s roughly three times as the rate of Toledo’s U.S.-born population, of which 11 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said the report reaffirms the mission of the Welcome Toledo-Lucas County initiative — to create a welcoming and supportive environment for immigrants and refugees who move to the Toledo area.
The numbers show “there is positive input to a community when foreign people come,” Mr. Gerken said. “They’re here investing in communities that many of us have left; they’re starting businesses and hiring people.”
Such data will be useful in efforts to attract talent in the future, Mr. Gerken said. He called the influx of foreign-born residents a stabilizing factor that kept population losses from becoming more dire.