CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Immigrant households in Corpus Christi earned $678.7 million in total income in 2016 and held $514.3 million in spending power, according to a new research brief released by New American Economy (NAE) in partnership with United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce (UCCCC). The brief was released at UCCCC’s United Strong: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit, held on April 5th.
In addition to the impressive earning and spending power of Corpus Christi’s immigrant population, the NAE brief analyzes the tax contributions, labor force participation, and educational attainment of the city’s foreign-born residents. The report also highlights the notable entrepreneurship rate among immigrants in Corpus Christi. Despite making up just 8.5% of the overall population, immigrants represented 19.7% of entrepreneurs in the city in 2016, and were twice as likely to be business owners as people born in the United States.
“We serve as an advocate for small, diverse and emergent businesses through an inclusive approach,” said Cleofas Rodriguez, Jr., President of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. “We are encouraged by the entrepreneurial spirit our new Americans bring to our economy. We recognize the value small businesses bring to our community in the form of jobs and opportunities.”
“Immigration can jump-start a city’s economy, and the latest data out of Corpus Christi just proves it once more,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “Welcoming immigrants is a smart way for Corpus Christi to sustain its recent growth and attract even more entrepreneurs and job creators.”
The brief, New Americans in Corpus Christi, finds:
- Immigrant households in Corpus Christi earned $678.7 million in income in 2016. Of that, foreign-born households contributed $115.1 million in federal taxes and $49.3 million in state and local taxes. They were left with $514.3 million in spending power, 8.8 percent of the city’s total.
- Immigrant households support federal social programs. The foreign-born contributed $72.5 million to Social Security and $19.2 million to Medicare in 2016.
- In Corpus Christi, immigrants were twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as their U.S.-born counterparts. Nearly 17 percent of the metro area’s immigrant population is self-employed, compared to 8.2% of the U.S.-born population. Despite making up 8.5% of the overall population, immigrants represented 19.7% of entrepreneurs in the city of Corpus Christi in 2016.
- While the foreign-born made up 8.5% of the city’s overall population, they represented 10.7% of its employed labor force. Immigrant workers play a particularly large role in the city’s construction, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.
Read the full research brief here.