Here’s How Much Spending Power Immigrants Hold in Philly
If last week’s national “Day Without Immigrants” boycott wasn’t enough to signal the impact of immigrants on the economy, a data map released on Tuesday details the impact of immigrants across all 50 states, in all 435 congressional districts, and in the country’s 55 largest metro areas.
The New American Economy, a nonpartisan group of mayors and business leaders for immigration reform, released the interactive map to put “the economic power of America’s immigrants in stark relief,” according to John Feinblatt, chairman of the NAE. “Across the map, and in every industry, immigrants strengthen the economies of big cities and small towns alike.”
For Philly, the project affirms the idea that immigrants are tightly woven into the local economy. Here are five takeaways from the data visualization:
1. Immigrants paid $6 billion in taxes in 2014, including $1.7 billion in state and local taxes and $4.3 billion in federal taxes. In that same year, immigrants held $13.5 billion in spending power.
2. Immigrants in Philadelphia are about 41 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than natives. Nationally they’re 28 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs. There are 40,171 immigrant entrepreneurs in Philly.
3. Immigrants are building the housing market. According to 2014 data, immigrants owned 148,622 homes in Philadelphia. Immigrants are said to increase housing wealth because they traditionally move into declining neighborhoods and help to revitalize them.
4. In Philadelphia, immigrants make up around 17 percent of the construction industry and tourism and hospitality industry.
5. The Philadelphia metro area has 614,660 immigrant residents, making up about 10 percent of the population. Of that group, about 311,709 were eligible to vote in 2014. Nationally, about 19 million immigrants were eligible to vote that year.
“This new research proves what we’re known for years in Philadelphia: Immigrants are an asset to our local economy and every community in America,” said Miriam Enriquez, Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Director, in a statement. “Real substantive and thoughtful immigration policies from Washington would only benefit our country and our city.”
View the full map here.
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