Immigrants as Economic Drivers in the Kansas City Metro Area in 2015

Immigrants contributed over $8 billion to the Kansas City metro area GDP in 2015, according to a new research brief released by New American Economy in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. The report shows that immigrants in Kansas City are more likely to be working age and are overrepresented in key industries like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and healthcare.

The research brief focuses on the critical economic impact immigrants make in the Kansas City metro area, highlighting immigrant participation in the local workforce, their contributions to the tax base, and the role they play in the preservation and creation of American jobs.

The brief, Immigrants as Economic Drivers in the Kansas City Metro Area in 2015, finds:

  • Immigrant households earned $3.7 billion in 2015. $629.8 million went to federal taxes and $309.3 million went to state and local taxes, leaving the foreign-born population in the Kansas City metro area with $3 billion in spending power.
  • There were 7,085 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Kansas City metro area in 2015. While 6.5 percent of the population, immigrants represented 8.4 percent of all entrepreneurs.
  • Immigrants are overrepresented in STEM and healthcare fields. 11.3 percent of foreign-born workers in the metro area work in a STEM field, compared to 7.3 percent of the local U.S.-born. And while they are 6.5 percent of the population, foreign-born workers represent 8.2 percent of healthcare professionals.
  • Immigrants helped create or preserved 6,294 manufacturing jobs.Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce, helping companies keep jobs on U.S. soil, immigrants living in the Kansas City metro area helped create or preserve 6,294 local manufacturing jobs in 2015 that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.

Read the full research brief here.

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