Report on New Americans in Columbus Highlights Economic Contributions of Immigrants


Sarah Doolin, Partnership for a New American Economy,

The foreign-born in Columbus have more than $2 billion in spending power and have contributed over $258 million in state and local tax dollars

Columbus, OH – New American Economy has developed a series of research briefs that examine the demographic and economic contributions of immigrant communities in cities across the state of Ohio. The latest report, produced with the City of Columbus and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, focuses on Ohio’s capital city, Columbus, and shows that immigrants positively impact the local economy through their workforce participation, entrepreneurship, tax contributions, and spending power.

“Immigrants bring renewed energy and growth to Rust Belt cities, and Ohio’s capital is no exception,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “This research shows how immigrants strengthen the local tax base, start businesses that create additional jobs, and fill important roles in the largest industries in Columbus.”

“Despite national rhetoric that fails to recognize their important contributions, new Americans are key to the success of Columbus,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.  “As this research shows, they are a vital part of our local economy and bring with them a cultural diversity and creative vibrancy that makes this city great.”

“Columbus is a dynamic city that attracts and embraces numerous cultures, and we feel that individuals who choose to immigrate to Columbus foster creativity and new ways of thinking,” says Michael Dalby, President & CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. “Our city and workforce both benefit from the talent, innovation, and business acumen they contribute the community.”

The report, “New Americans in Columbus,” finds:

  • Foreign-born households in Columbus have more than $2 billion in spending power and contribute over $258 million in taxes to state and local budgets.
  • While the number of U.S.-born entrepreneurs decreased by 1.2 percent between 2007 and 2012, the number of foreign-born entrepreneurs increased by 41.5 percent.
  • Immigrants make up a significant share of the high-tech workforce in Columbus, representing 39 percent of I.T. workers, 35.7 percent of aerospace workers, and 20.8 percent of biotech workers.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the foreign-born population of Columbus’ metropolitan area accounted for 24.6 percent of total population growth.
  • While 15.6 percent of foreign-born individuals in Columbus hold advanced degrees (master’s, professional, or doctorates), only 8.4 percent of U.S.-born people are similarly qualified.

See our briefs on Cincinnati and Dayton, and stay tuned for the next report in the series, “New Americans in Toledo.”

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…