New data shows the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the Richmond metro area grew by more than 58 percent in one year

Immigrants in Richmond paid nearly $1.1 billion in taxes in 2017, a more than 33 percent increase 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 Richmond’s community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in the Richmond metro area are driving economic growth — the area’s immigrant entrepreneur population grew more than 58 percent in just one year. Immigrants are also supporting Richmond’s biggest industries as workers. In 2017, they had an outsize impact on many industries, making up nearly one-fifth of the area’s construction 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 Richmond metro area include: 

  • Immigrants are driving Richmond’s entrepreneurial economy. In 2017, there were 8,992 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Richmond metro area, a 58.3 percent increase from 2016. Immigrants are also 106.8 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents.
  • Major industries in the Richmond metro area depend on immigrant workers. Immigrants make up 7.6 percent of the area’s population, and they have an outsize impact on many industries. Immigrants made up 19.4 percent of the area’s construction workers, 11.5 percent of its manufacturing workers, and 11.4 percent of its professional, scientific, and technical services workers. 
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, 81.5 percent of immigrants in Richmond were of working age, compared to 64.4 percent of U.S.-born residents, and subsequently helped to fill employment gaps across industries.
  • Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in Richmond paid nearly $1.1 billion in taxes. Immigrants also held nearly $3 billion in spending power, a more than 26 percent increase from 2016.

“Richmond’s immigrants are leading the charge in creating a burgeoning business sector in the area,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “This influx of new businesses is creating jobs and opportunities for the Richmond area and all of its residents.”

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…