LOUISVILLE, KY – Immigrants in the Louisville metro area paid $430 million in taxes in 2016, including $282 million in federal taxes and $148 million in state and local taxes, according to a new report by New American Economy (NAE), released in partnership with the Louisville Mayor’s Office for Globalization and Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI). The report was released at the kick-off of the annual Welcoming Interactive + Welcoming Economies Convening held in Louisville June 18-20th. The report shows that immigrants also earned $1.6 billion in income, and held $1.2 billion in spending power.
In addition to their financial contributions, the report shows the role the foreign-born community in Louisville is playing in driving population growth and contributing to the local labor force. Nearly a fifth of total population growth in Louisville from 2010 to 2016 is attributable to immigrants. And though they are 4.9 percent of the metro area’s population, immigrants are 8.3 percent of the metro area’s STEM workers and 7.1 percent of business owners.
“Louisville’s economy has tremendous momentum and our foreign-born residents are important contributors to our city’s economic growth – they are entrepreneurs and home owners, community leaders, and role models. NAE’s report proves that the work we are doing to build our action-oriented framework to welcome immigrants is benefiting everyone,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We are experiencing a pivotal moment in Louisville’s economic history. We welcome and support our immigrant neighbors and look forward to creating opportunity for all residents.”
Louisville Metro Government and GLI collaborate on the Global Louisville initiative to coordinate city-wide resources for immigrants, allowing them to enhance their economic opportunities in the region. By combining economic development with community outreach and education, Louisville’s foreign-born residents are empowered to contribute to the growth and momentum the city is experiencing.
“This new report shows that new Americans have played a significant role in Louisville’s overall growth and help make our workforce more competitive,” said Kent Oyler, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “Greater Louisville welcomes the diversity of talent in our region and we know it deepens our perspective of the world and it allows us to contribute globally in a more meaningful way.”
“Embracing immigration is a proven way to jumpstart a local economy,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “In Louisville, the numbers don’t lie – immigrants continue to provide a welcome boost to businesses and this growing city’s tax base.”
The factsheet, Global Louisville: A Demographic and Economic Snapshot of the Foreign-Born, finds:
- Immigrant households earned $1.6 billion in income in 2016. Of that, $281.5 million went to federal taxes and $148.0 million went to state and local taxes, leaving them with $1.2 billion in spending power.
- Immigrants were responsible for 19.8 percent of the total population growth in the Louisville metro area between 2010 and 2016. Over those 6 years, the immigrant population increased by 18.5 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the immigrant population increased by 112.4 percent.
- Despite making up just 4.9 percent of the overall population, immigrants play an outsize role in the employed workforce and as STEM workers in 2016. Foreign-born workers represented 6.3 percent of the Louisville metro area’s employed workforce and 8.3 percent of its STEM workforce that year.
- Immigrants also punch above their weight when it comes to entrepreneurship. Though 4.9 percent of the overall population, immigrants represented 7.1 percent of the Louisville metro area’s business owners in 2016. Moreover, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 10.4 percent of the area’s “Main Street” business owners.
- Louisville’s foreign-born population is highly educated. 31.8 percent of immigrants in the metro area hold a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 30 percent of immigrants in the country as a whole.
- Immigrants play a critical role in several key industries in the metro area. Foreign-born workers made up 10.8 percent of all workers in construction, as well as 8.6 percent of the manufacturing industry and 7.3 percent of the transportation and warehousing industry.