New York – Today New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research and advocacy organization focused on immigration, released new data highlighting the significant contributions immigrants make to Pittsburgh’s community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in Pittsburgh are driving the small business economy — there were more than 5,200 immigrant entrepreneurs in the metro area and immigrants were more than 47 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents. Immigrants are also major consumers who help power Pittsburgh’s businesses. In 2017, Pittsburgh’s immigrants held nearly $2.6 billion in spending power, a more than $200 million increase from 2016.
The research is part of NAE’s Map the Impact, an interactive map that quantifies immigrant contributions at the national, state, metro area, and congressional district levels, and across industries.
Key findings for the Pittsburgh metro area include:
- Immigrants are driving Pittsburgh’s economy. In 2017, there were 5,247 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh metro area. Immigrants were also 47.5 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents.
- Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, more than 76 percent of immigrants in Pittsburgh were of working age, compared to 64 percent of U.S.-born residents. Immigrants subsequently helped to fill employment gaps across industries.
- Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in Pittsburgh paid more than $1 billion in taxes, an increase of more than $80 million in just one year. Immigrants also held nearly $2.6 billion in spending power, a more than $200 million increase from 2016.
- Major industries in Pittsburgh depend on immigrant workers. While representing just 3.8 percent of the area’s population, Pittsburgh immigrants made up 6.3 percent of educational services workers and 6.3 percent of professional, scientific, and technical services workers.
“This new data once again shows the importance of the foreign-born community to the city and economy of Pittsburgh,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “By launching new businesses and filling critical workforce gaps, Pittsburgh’s immigrants are contributing to the area’s continued economic success.”
Map the Impact shows NAE analysis of the latest data from the 2017 American Communities Survey. You can find the new version of the Map at maptheimpact.org.