New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants in Champaign County contributed $1.4 billion to the area’s GDP in 2016 and paid $119.1 million in federal taxes and $57.2 million in state and local taxes. The report was prepared in partnership with the University YMCA, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, and the University of Illinois Research Park.
In addition to their financial contributions, our report shows the role the immigrant population in Champaign County plays in the local labor force. One in five immigrants work in education, and they accounted for one-quarter of county’s STEM workers in 2016. Non-college student immigrants are also over 50 percent more likely to have to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher than their U.S.-born counterparts.
Our key findings include:
- Immigrants contributed $1.4 billion to Champaign County’s GDP in 2016. Immigrant households earned $619 million in income that year.
- Immigrants contributed over $176 million in total taxes in 2016, of which $119.1 million went to federal taxes and $57.2 million went to state and local taxes. Immigrant households were left with $442.6 million in spending power.
- Immigrant households support federal social programs. Foreign-born residents contributed $61.5 million to Social Security and $16.6 million to Medicare in 2016.
- Despite making up just 11.6 percent of the overall population, immigrants represented 25.1 percent of the county’s STEM workers in 2016. Foreign-born workers represented 12.3 percent of Champaign County’s overall employed labor force that same year.
- Immigrants play a critical role in several key industries in the county, making up significant shares of the workforce. Foreign-born workers made up 21.5 percent of all workers in education, as well as 13.3 percent of the manufacturing industry and 11.5 percent of the healthcare industry.
- Immigrants in Champaign County help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce helping companies keep jobs on U.S. soil, immigrants in the region helped create or preserve approximately 1,104 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
- Non-college student immigrants are also over 50 percent more likely to have to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher than their U.S.-born counterparts. 21 percent of non-college student immigrants had a doctoral degree in 2016.
- Over one-third of immigrants and refugees in the county—nearly 8,000 individuals—were naturalized citizens in 2016. One-quarter of the non-citizen population were likely eligible to naturalize.
Access the complete brief here.