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New Report Shows Immigrants in Northeast Ohio Paid Over $1.5 Billion in Taxes and Held $3.9 Billion in Spending Power in 2019

Immigrants in Northeast Ohio made up 8.1% of business owners and 12.2% of STEM workers

CLEVELAND, Jan. 21, 2022 A new report, New Americans in Northeast Ohio and Cuyahoga County, released today by New American Economy—now the American Immigration Council—in partnership with Global Cleveland, underscores the critical role immigrants in Northeast Ohio play in education, business creation, and STEM innovation. 

Between 2014 and 2019 the region’s population decreased by 0.4%, while the immigrant population grew by 7.3%. Without growth in the immigrant population, the total population in Northeast Ohio would have decreased even more, by 0.8%. In 2019 alone, immigrants in Northeast Ohio held $3.9 billion in spending power, and paid $1 billion in federal taxes and $520.8 million in state and local taxes. Despite making up 5.7% of the region’s overall population, immigrants represent 15.9% of agriculture and forestry workers, 8.7% of manufacturing workers, and 7.2% of education workers.

The new report was awarded to the region as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. Global Cleveland will present the report at a special event on January 21, where community members will offer commentary on the findings of the report. Following the launch, Global Cleveland plans to widely disseminate the report to municipal leaders, civic organizations, and business groups in the region.

“Global Cleveland is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the New American Economy and Welcoming America to take part in their Gateways for Growth Challenge,” said Joe Cimperman, president of Global Cleveland. “As this report makes clear, immigrants play a critical role in our region’s economy, particularly among our entrepreneurial and local manufacturing sectors. We must continue to embrace new Americans, not only to drive our economy forward but also to build upon our legacy as a welcoming city. Global Cleveland is committed to ensuring that all immigrants have the opportunity to grow and thrive here.”

“This report captures the vital role immigrants play in driving economic growth and filling essential roles across Northeast Ohio,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives at the American Immigration Council. “As Cleveland and Northeast Ohio continue to welcome immigrants, the economy, workforce, and entire community will reap the benefits.” 

“As an existing member of the Welcoming Network, Global Cleveland exemplifies the power of welcoming for all residents of Northeast Ohio’s economy,” said Molly Hilligoss, network director of Welcoming America. “We’re thrilled that the Gateways for Growth Challenge can be part of making Cleveland and the surrounding region an even more welcoming place for the future.”

The new research report, New Americans in Northeast Ohio and Cuyahoga County, finds:

  • Immigrants play a particularly significant role in Northeast Ohio as they are bringing much-needed talent. In 2019, 40.8% of immigrants aged 25 and above held at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30.5% of the U.S.-born population in the region. 21.4% of immigrants held an advanced degree, compared with 11.3% of the U.S.-born population in the region.
  • Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born in Northeast Ohio contributed over $482 million to Social Security and over $133 million to Medicare in 2019.
  • Immigrants play a particularly significant role in the region’s entrepreneurs. Immigrants represented 8.1% of the business owners in Northeast Ohio in 2019. About 8,300 immigrant entrepreneurs generated $204.8 million in business income.
  • Immigrants in Northeast Ohio help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Immigrants strengthened the local job market by allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil, helping preserve or create 7,200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2019.

Read the full research brief here

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…