New Report Details Huge Contribution Immigrants Are Making To America


In an extraordinary achievement related to documenting the contribution of immigrants to American life, the American Immigration Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping immigrants coming to the United States, just published an interactive map providing deep analysis and data about immigrants in the country.

The Council’s 2023 Map, showcases the contributions of immigrants in the country, all 50 states, and industry sectors across the economy. It also features hundreds of stories and videos from local leaders talking about why immigration matters to them.

Some key findings from the Council’s report include:

  • 1 in 8 U.S. residents is an immigrant.
  • Immigrants paid over $500 billion in taxes in 2021.
  • 22% of all U.S. entrepreneurs are immigrants.

America Built By Immigrants

As the Council points out, “The United States was built, in part, by immigrants—and the nation has long been the beneficiary of the energy and ingenuity that immigrants bring. Today, 13.6 percent of the nation’s residents are foreign-born, more than half of whom are naturalized citizens. Immigrants support the U.S. economy in many ways, accounting for 22.2 percent of entrepreneurs, 22.8 percent of STEM workers, and 15.2 percent of nurses. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of the country’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.”

In terms of source countries for immigrants to America, the report indicates that Mexico led the way with almost 24 percent of all immigrants, India was 6 percent, China and the Philippines were tied at just under 5 percent, and El Salvadore was just over 3 percent of all the immigrants.

Employment Of Immigrants

In terms of the top industries that employed workers in 2021, over 52 percent were in the taxi and limousine industry, 44 percent were private homes, almost 43 percent were in the nail salons and personal care industry, over 40 percent in the cut and sew, and apparel accessories and other apparel manufacturing industry, and 38 percent were in services to buildings and dwellings (except cleaning during construction and immediately after construction).

As for occupations with the highest share of immigrant workers in the American workforce, the numbers are: manicurists and pedicurists at almost 75 percent, graders and sorters, of agricultural products almost 58 percent, plasterers and stucco masons 56 percent, taxi drivers at over 54 percent and drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers at just under 54 percent.

In 2021 immigrants made up just over 17 percent of the American workforce consisting of almost 29 million workers. They paid almost $525 billion in taxes. As the report pointed out, “In recent decades, more than 40 million immigrants in the U.S. collectively increased U.S. housing wealth by trillions of dollars. Much of this was possible because immigrants moved into neighbourhoods once in decline, thus helping to revitalize communities and make neighbourhoods more attractive to U.S.-born residents.”

Other Important Immigrant Groups

Almost 4 percent of the American workforce consists of undocumented immigrants, with their total number in America approaching 10 million. They paid over $ 30 billion in taxes in 2021. Other significant immigrant segments consist of DACA-eligible immigrants numbering over 900,000 who paid almost $ 6.5 billion, over 2,300,000 refugees who paid almost $ 28 billion, and over 350,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who paid some $ 2.2 billion in taxes in 2021.

In short, the amazing new map and report that has just been published based on the most current statistics available from 2021 will be an excellent tool for policy makers and urban planners to use in the future.


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