New data shows the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in Austin grew by 17.5 percent in one year

Immigrants paid nearly $2.8 billion in taxes in 2017, an increase of more than $230 million from 2016

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 Austin’s community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in Austin are driving economic growth — there were more than 25,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in the metro area, a 17.5 percent increase from 2016. Immigrants are also supporting Austin’s biggest industries as workers. In 2017, Austin’s immigrants made up 39.6 percent of the area’s construction workers and 24.1 percent of manufacturing workers.

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 Austin metro area include: 

  • Immigrants are driving Austin’s economy. In 2017, there were 25,037 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Austin metro area, a 17.5 percent increase from 2016. Immigrants were also 13.6 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents.
  • Major industries in Austin depend on immigrant workers. Immigrants make up 15.2 percent of the area’s population, and they have an outsize impact on many industries. Austin immigrants make up 39.6 percent of construction workers, 24.1 percent of manufacturing workers, and 23.5 percent of tourism, hospitality, and recreation workers.
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, 86.4 percent of immigrants in Austin were of working age, compared to 65.4 percent of U.S.-born residents, helping to fill employment gaps across industries.
  • Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in Austin paid nearly $2.8 billion in taxes, a more than $230 million increase in one year, and held $8.2 billion in spending power, a nearly $900 million increase from 2016.

“Immigrants in Austin are playing an increasingly prominent role in the area’s local business sector by starting companies that bring in revenue and employ Texans,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “When Austin provides immigrants with opportunities to succeed, the metro area’s community and economy 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

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…