Immigrants contributed $7.6 billion to the GDP of Greater New Orleans in 2014, New Study Shows

New Orleans, LA – Today, the City of New Orleans and New American Economy released a report  documenting the economic impact of immigrants in the metropolitan area.  Accounting for seven percent of the overall population, the foreign-born of New Orleans make an outsized contribution to the local economy through their high rates of entrepreneurship, large tax contributions, and spending power.

“New Orleans is proud to be a welcoming city because we know that diversity is a strength,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “This report underscores the invaluable contributions immigrants continue to make to our city and our economy.  I am proud to stand with mayors from across the country in support of our immigrant communities and in calling for comprehensive immigration reform to help strengthen local economies and communities.”

“Like many American cities, New Orleans owes its rich economic history to generations of talented, hardworking immigrants,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “Today, immigrants not only power key local industries like construction and agriculture, but also start job-creating businesses in the city and across Louisiana.”

The report, New Americans in Greater New Orleans, finds:

  • In 2014, foreign-born households contributed $7.6B to the GDP of the Greater New Orleans metro area in 2014.
  • Immigrants in Greater New Orleans paid $525 million in federal taxes, and $196 million in state and local taxes in 2014. They also held $2 billion in remaining spending power.
  • Foreign-born residents of Greater New Orleans also support federal social programs, and in 2014, they contributed more than $265 million to Social Security and almost $77 million to Medicare.
  • In 2014, immigrant-owned businesses in Greater New Orleans generated $174 million in business income.
  • Immigrants living in Greater New Orleans in 2014 helped create or preserve 4,285 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
  • If the metro area retains one-half of its international students who graduate with bachelor’s degrees or higher, 458 local jobs will be created within six years, boosting the area’s real GDP by $114.6M within the next 30 years, and increasing its population by 3,668 people within the next 50 years.
  • In 2014, 92.8% of the foreign-born had been in Greater New Orleans for more than a year. In fact, 64% of the metro area’s foreign-born population has been in the country for more than 10 years.

Read the full report here.

New Orleans is one of 20 communities selected in the Gateways for Growth Challenge, an opportunity from NAE and Welcoming America that invited communities across the United States to apply for research and technical assistance to support the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans.

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…