New Americans in Birmingham Contribute $3 billion to GDP, New Study Shows

Birmingham, AL– Today, the City of Birmingham and New American Economy released a report documenting the economic impact of immigrants in Birmingham, Alabama. Accounting for just 3.5 percent of the overall population in 2014, the foreign-born of the Birmingham metro area made up an outsize 5.2 percent of the employed workforce – contributing to the local economy through high rates of entrepreneurship, large tax contributions, and spending power.

“We knew the immigrant community made important contributions to our community and this report confirms that.  Birmingham is a changing 21st Century City and New Americans are important to our future.  We look forward to working together to incorporate the talents and cultural contributions of all people as Birmingham continues to flourish,” said Mayor William Bell.

“Cities across the South depend on immigration to strengthen their economies, and Birmingham is no exception,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “Birmingham’s immigrants boost local business and tax revenues, contributions that continue to pay dividends for Alabama families.”

The report, New Americans in Birmingham, finds:

  • In 2014, foreign-born households contributed $3 billion to the GDP.
  • In 2014, immigrants in Birmingham paid $213.2 million in federal taxes, and $73.8 million in state and local taxes. They also held $821.9 million in remaining spending power.
  • The 2,665 immigrants in the Birmingham metro area who were self-employed in 2014 earned $19.2 million in business income.
  • In 2014, foreign-born residents in the Birmingham metro area had higher levels of education than those born in the United States, with 11.7 percent of immigrants holding an advanced degree.

Read the full report here.

Birmingham Metro Area 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 support for 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…