Immigrants in Phoenix Held $5 Billion in Spending Power; Paid $535 Million in State and Local Taxes, New Study Shows

Phoenix, AZ – Today, New American Economy, in partnership with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the International Rescue Committee, and AT&T, released a report documenting the economic impact of immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona. Accounting for 20 percent of the total population, the immigrant population in Phoenix was responsible for raising the total housing value in the city by $1.2 billion in the period following the Great Recession, and immigrant entrepreneurs in the city generated $390 million in business income in 2014.

“Phoenix takes pride in being a welcoming city where anyone can be a success story, and our tremendous diversity is our greatest strategic economic advantage,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This report shows just how strongly immigrants are driving our regional economy to be more innovative and entrepreneurial.”

“This important report reminds us that immigrants are our entrepreneurs, risk-takers, and innovators,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “New Americans are central to Arizona’s prosperity and quality of life, and we’re all better off for their contributions.”

According to Donna Magnuson, Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, “Refugees, like other immigrants, want to live the American Dream. Through our employment program they find work, they become consumers, and ultimately give back to the local economies that support them. In 2016, of the refugees resettled by the IRC, 84 percent were economically self-sufficient within six months. Refugees are actually starting their own businesses in Phoenix—creating jobs in the process—and purchasing homes in our community. They become new Americans.”

“Sun Belt cities like Phoenix continue to create jobs and wealth, and thriving immigrant populations help account for why,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “Phoenix’s immigrants power construction and manufacturing, start their own businesses at high rates, and increase housing values—all of which have vaulted the metro area to among the fastest-growing in the country.”

The report, New Americans in Phoenix, finds:

  • Growth in the foreign-born population accounted for 23 percent of overall population growth for Phoenix between 2010 and 2014.
  •  In 2014, immigrants paid $1 billion in federal taxes and $534.7 million in state and local taxes. They also held $4.9 billion in spending power.
  • There were 22,304 self-employed immigrants in Phoenix in 2014. Together, they earned $390 million in business income.
  • In 2015, half of the Fortune 500 companies in Phoenix were founded by immigrants or their children.
  • Immigrants living in Phoenix in 2014 helped create or preserve 14,052 local manufacturing jobs.
  • Between 2000 and 2014, immigration to Phoenix increased the total housing value in the city by $3.2 billion. 

Read the full report here.

Phoenix is one of 20 communities selected in the 2016 Gateways for Growth Challenge, an opportunity from NAE and Welcoming America that invited communities across the United States to apply for support for the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans. More information about Gateways for Growth, including the call for applications for the next round of the Challenge, can be found here.

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…