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New data shows that immigrant household income in the New York metro area grew by more than $11 billion in one year

Immigrants in the New York metro area paid more than $69 billion in taxes in 2017; New York has more than 400,000 immigrant entrepreneurs

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 the New York metro area’s community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in New York are playing an essential role in the local economy — the area had more than 400,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in 2017. Immigrants are also supporting New York’s biggest industries as workers. In 2017, New York’s immigrants made up 47 percent of the area’s construction workers and 43.6 percent of manufacturing jobs.

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 New York metro area include: 

  • Immigrants are driving New York’s economy. In 2017, there were more than 400,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in the New York metro area and immigrants were 22.7 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents.
  • Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in the New York metro area paid more than $69 billion in taxes, a $3 billion increase from 2016. Immigrants also held $162.3 billion in spending power in 2017, an $8 billion increase in just one year. 
  • Major industries in the New York metro area depend on immigrant workers. Despite making up 29 percent of the population, immigrants in New York made up 48.1 percent of transportation and warehousing workers, 47 percent of construction workers, and 43.6 percent of manufacturing workers.
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, nearly 78 percent of immigrants in the New York metro area were of working age, compared to 60.7 percent of U.S.-born residents, helping to fill employment gaps across industries.

“This new data shows how immigrant New Yorkers are playing a critical role in our city’s economy. They play an outsize role in many of the industries that drive economic and job growth, and they are fueling the New York area’s tax base,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “If the New York metropolitan area continues to invest in immigrant integration by creating pathways for economic mobility and business ownership, all New Yorkers will continue to reap the benefits.”

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

Editor’s note: The New York metro statistical area encompases the principal cities of New York, NY; Newark NJ; Jersey City, NJ; White Plains, NY; New Brunswick, NJ; and Lakewood NJ. A full county list can be provided upon request. 

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…