New Americans in the Grand Forks Region

Representing just 3.5 percent of the population, immigrants and refugees in the Grand Forks region accounted for 37.7 percent of overall population growth between 2010 and 2015, according to a new research brief released by New American Economy in partnership with the City of Grand Forks. Immigrants also contributed over $350 million to the region’s GDP in 2015.

In addition to their financial contributions and impact on local demographics, the report shows the important role the foreign-born population plays in the region’s workforce. Immigrants make up a significant portion of the region’s most important industries, including healthcare, education, professional services, and manufacturing. Over half of immigrants over the age of 25 hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to a third of the U.S.-born population.

The brief, New Americans in the Grand Forks Region, finds:

  • Foreign-born residents made up just 3.5 percent of the region’s population but were responsible for 37.7 percent of overall population growth in the region between 2010 and 2015.
  • Foreign-born residents contributed $353.7 million to the region’s GDP in 2015. Immigrant households also support federal social programs, contributing $20.4 million to Social Security and $5.0 million to Medicare.
  • Immigrant households earned $177.7 million in 2015. Immigrant households also contributed $50.1 million in federal taxes and $14.4 million in state and local taxes, including property, sales, and excise taxes.
  • Foreign-born workers represented 4.8 percent of the region’s STEM workers in 2015. Immigrants also make up 6.8 percent of the workers in healthcare, 6.0 percent of workers in education, and 4.7 percent of the region’s manufacturing workers.
  • Immigrants were more likely than the U.S.-born population to have a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2015. 56.2 percent of immigrants held a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 32.7 percent of the U.S.-born population.
  • Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce helping companies keep jobs local, by 2015 immigrants living in the county had helped create or preserve 404 manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.

Read the full report here.

Grand Forks is one of 44 communities selected for the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for local communities to receive direct technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to develop multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants. New American Economy also provides tailored research on the contributions of immigrants and matching grants to select communities as part of the Challenge.

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