New data shows economic benefits of immigrants in Seattle

Written by on April 6, 2017 in Local and National News - Comments Off

By City of Seattle

In February, the City of Seattle joined with the bipartisan immigration advocacy coalition New American Economy (NAE) in their nationwide release of new research on the contributions of immigrants in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area. The research, dubbed Map the Impact highlights the significant economic contributions of immigrants and the critical need for immigration reform. For instance, immigrants paid $6.5 billion in state and local taxes and held $16.9 billion in spending power in 2014.

In his State of the City speech, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made the link between Seattle’s welcoming city values and the city’s economic success, success that is shared across the nation. “We are a welcoming city for thousands of new Americans, and, together with the other nine largest welcoming cities in America, account for one-third of the country’s gross domestic product.”

Map the Impact provides business, civic, and cultural leaders with new data on immigrant populations in all 435 Congressional Districts and 50 metro areas. Featured in an interactive map at that also includes state- and sector-specific data, NAE quantifies every locality’s foreign-born population, tax contributions, spending power, home ownership, and voting power, among other items.

In the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area, Map the Impact shows:
There are 613,667 foreign-born residents who make up 16.7 percent of the area’s population.
Immigrants own 131,178 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.
Immigrants make up 28.2 percent of the tourism, hospitality and recreation industry.

Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs director Cuc Vu believes the data can be an effective tool in the larger toolbox to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

“This information can be effective in educating voters about the contributions that immigrants and refugees make to our economy,” says Vu. “Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Trump Administration and Congress, the truth is that immigrants – from farmworkers to tech workers – will continue to enrich Seattle’s economy and contribute to the success of America.”


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