A new report from New American Economy shows that immigrants in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana accounted for 24.7 percent of overall population growth in the region between 2011 and 2016. The report was produced in partnership with Welcoming Fort Wayne, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County.
In addition to their financial contributions, the new report, New Americans in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana, shows the role that the immigrant population in Northeast Indiana plays in the regional labor force, as well as their contributions to the region’s tax base. Though they account for 4.5 percent of the region’s overall population, immigrants represent 5.9 percent of the working-age population and 5.2 percent of its employed labor force. The report also shows that immigrants paid $161.3 million in taxes in 2016 including and $104.4 million in federal taxes and $56.9 million in state and local taxes.
- Immigrants accounted for 24.7 percent of overall population growth in the region from 2011 to 2016. While the total population grew by 2.2 percent, the immigrant population increased by 13.3 percent.
- Foreign-born residents paid $161.3 million in taxes in Northeast Indiana in 2016. Immigrant households earned $634.1 million in income in 2016. Of that, $104.4 million went to federal taxes and $56.9 million went to state and local taxes, leaving them with $472.8 million in spending power.
- Despite making up just 4.5 percent of the overall population, immigrants played an outsize role in the employed labor force in 2016. Foreign-born workers represented 5.9 percent of Northeast Indiana’s working-age population and 5.2 percent of its employed labor force that year.
- Immigrants are overrepresented as entrepreneurs in the region. Despite making up only 4.5 percent of the populations, immigrants accounted for 4.7 percent of all entrepreneurs in the region in 2016 and generated $26.2 million in business income that year.
- Immigrants play a critical role in several key industries in the region, including STEM fields. Foreign-born workers made up 7.1 percent of all workers in construction and 6.5 percent of workers in hospitality and recreation. They also made up 4.8 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, higher than their share of the population.
- Over 1,000 students enrolled in colleges and universities in the region during the fall of 2015 were temporary residents. These students supported 215 local jobs and contributed $36.1 million in spending in the 2016-17 academic year.
- Immigrants in Northeast Indiana were more likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to have an advanced degree in 2016. 3 percent of immigrants had an advanced degree, compared to 7.5 percent of the U.S.-born.
- Nearly half of immigrants in the region—41.5%, or nearly 12,000 individuals— were naturalized citizens in 2016.