New Americans in Alexandria
Date: July 30, 2018
A new report from New American Economy (NAE) shows that immigrants in the City of Alexandria paid $364.6 million in taxes in 2016, including $262.4 million in federal taxes and $102.2 million in state and local taxes. The report was produced in partnership with the City of Alexandria Workforce Development Center and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.
In addition to their financial contributions, the new report, New Americans in Alexandria, shows the role that the immigrant population in Alexandria plays in the local labor force, as well as their contributions to the city’s recent population growth. Though they account for 28 percent of the city’s overall population, immigrants represent 32.3 percent the city’s working age population and 30.5 percent of its employed labor force. The report also shows that over half of the city’s population growth in between 2011 and 2016 is attributable to immigrants.
The report features profiles on four Alexandria-area immigrants: Fernando Torrez, Rhoda Worku, Mahfuz Mummed, and Sophia Aimen Sexton.
The brief also finds:
- Foreign-born residents paid $364.6 million in taxes in the City of Alexandria in 2016. Immigrant households earned $1.4 billion in income in 2016. Of that, $262.4 million went to federal taxes and $102.2 million went to state and local taxes, leaving them with $998.8 million in spending power.
- Immigrants were responsible for 52.0 percent of the total population growth in Alexandria between 2011 and 2016. Over those 5 years, the overall population in the city increased by 10.8 percent, while the immigrant population increased by 22.2 percent.
- Despite making up 28.0 percent of the overall population, immigrants played an outsize role in the labor force in 2016. Foreign-born workers represented 32.3 percent of Alexandria’s working-age population and 30.5 percent of its employed labor force that year.
- Immigrants are overrepresented among entrepreneurs in the city. Despite making up 28.0 percent of the population, immigrants accounted for 34.2 percent of all entrepreneurs in the city in 2016, generating $79.4 million in local business income.
- Immigrants play a critical role in several key industries in the city, including in STEM fields. Foreign-born workers made up 62.2 percent of all workers in construction, 48.3 percent of all workers in hospitality and recreation, and 41.4 percent of all workers in healthcare. They also made up 21.4 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers.
- 40 percent of immigrants over the age of 25 had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016, and 19.2 percent had an advanced degree.
- Over one third of immigrants in the city—36.3 percent, or over 15,000 individuals— were naturalized citizens in 2016.
- Over one third—31.2 percent—of refugees aged 25 and above in the city held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016. 10 percent held an advanced degree.