Global Louisville: A Demographic and Economic Snapshot of the Foreign-Born

A new report from New American Economy reveals that immigrants in the Louisville metro area paid $430 million in taxes in 2016, including $282 million in federal taxes and $148 million in state and local taxes. The report, Global Louisville: A Demographic and Economic Snapshot of the Foreign-Born, was released in partnership with the Louisville Mayor’s Office for Globalization and Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI).

In addition to their financial contributions, the report shows the role the foreign-born community in Louisville is playing in driving population growth and contributing to the local labor force. Nearly a fifth of total population growth in Louisville from 2010 to 2016 is attributable to immigrants. And though they are 4.9 percent of the metro area’s population, immigrants are 8.3 percent of the metro area’s STEM workers and 7.1 percent of business owners.

Global Louisville: A Demographic and Economic Snapshot of the Foreign-Born also finds:

  • Immigrant households earned $1.6 billion in income in 2016. Of that, $281.5 million went to federal taxes and $148.0 million went to state and local taxes, leaving them with $1.2 billion in spending power.
  • Immigrants were responsible for 19.8 percent of the total population growth in the Louisville metro area between 2010 and 2016. Over those 6 years, the immigrant population increased by 18.5 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the immigrant population increased by 112.4 percent.
  • Despite making up just 4.9 percent of the overall population, immigrants play an outsize role in the employed workforce and as STEM workers in 2016. Foreign-born workers represented 6.3 percent of the Louisville metro area’s employed workforce and 8.3 percent of its STEM workforce that year.
  • Immigrants also punch above their weight when it comes to entrepreneurship. Though 4.9 percent of the overall population, immigrants represented 7.1 percent of the Louisville metro area’s business owners in 2016. Moreover, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 10.4 percent of the area’s “Main Street” business owners.
  • Louisville’s foreign-born population is highly educated. 31.8 percent of immigrants in the metro area hold a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 30 percent of immigrants in the country as a whole.
  • Immigrants play a critical role in several key industries in the metro area. Foreign-born workers made up 10.8 percent of all workers in construction, as well as 8.6 percent of the manufacturing industry and 7.3 percent of the transportation and warehousing industry.

Read the full report here.

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