Keeping Pace with Change: The Fort Bend County Business Environment in 2017

A new report from New American Economy shows that immigrants in Fort Bend County paid $2.5 billion in taxes and contributed $11.0B to the county’s GDP in 2017. The report, Keeping Pace with Change: The Fort Bend County Business Environment in 2017, was produced in partnership with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. The report also shows that the arrival of immigrants increased the total housing value in the county by $580.2 million and that business income generated by immigrant entrepreneurs totaled $508.0 million.

In addition to their financial contributions, the report shows the foreign-born population’s role as contributors to the workforce in Fort Bend County. In 2017, immigrants were 49.0 percent more likely than the U.S.-born population to own their own businesses and were 36.2 percent more likely to be working age. Immigrants in Fort Bend County also made up 45.6 percent of workers in the local mining, oil and gas extraction industry, and 45.0 percent of workers in the local healthcare industry.

The brief, Keeping Pace with Change, also finds:

  • Immigrants households earned $9.8 billion in 2017. They also held $7.2 billion in spending power. This means that foreign-born households held 36.2 percent of all spending power in Fort Bend County, more than their share of the county’s population.
  • Given their income, immigrants contributed significantly to federal, state, and local taxes. Immigrants paid $1.9 billion in federal taxes and $608.7 million in state and local taxes in 2017.
  • Immigrants play a significant role as entrepreneurs in the county. Immigrants were 49.0 percent more likely than the US.-born population to own their own businesses, and business income generated by foreign-born entrepreneurs totalled $508.0 million. This means immigrant business income accounted for 37.9 percent of the total business income in the county.
  • Immigrants made up 29.1 percent of the overall population in the county, and played an outsize role in certain industries in 2017. Foreign-born workers represented 46.3 percent of STEM workers, 52.7 percent of healthcare practitioners, and 34.5 percent of business and finance workers in Fort Bend County.
  • Immigrants contributed significantly to the county’s housing market. In 2017, 80.3 percent of the immigrant population were homeowners, making them more likely than the U.S.-born population to own a home. Between 2012 and 2017, the arrival of immigrants increased the total housing value in the county by $580.2 million.
  • Immigrants were 36.2 percent more likely to be working age than the U.S.-born population. In 2017, 80.2 percent of immigrants were working age, compared to 58.8 percent of the U.S.-born.
  • Immigrants fill critical gaps in the workforce, allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil. In Fort Bend County, immigrants helped create or preserve 10,244 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2017.

The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce is a member of NAE’s Global Talent Chamber Network, which brings together over 50 chambers of commerce from across the country who see immigrant integration as an economic growth strategy.

About Us

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…