In January 2022, NAE merged with the American Immigration Council to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming.
New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants in Lancaster County paid over $149 million in taxes and held more than $455 million in spending power in 2019. The new report, New Americans in Lancaster County, was prepared in partnership with the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
- Immigrants are helping Lancaster County fill crucial roles in the STEM workforce. Immigrants made up 8.2% of the region’s population but accounted for 11.7% of its STEM workers.
- Immigrants are helping Lancaster County meet its labor force demands. As of 2019, immigrants are 29.7% more likely to be of working age than their U.S.-born counterparts, allowing them to actively participate in the labor force and contribute to the economy as taxpayers and consumers. Although the foreign-born made up 8.2% of the county’s overall population, they represented 10.3% of its working-age population and 9.3% of its employed labor force.
- Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born contributed $70.4 million to Social Security and $17.2 million to Medicare in 2019.
- Immigrants are helping Lancaster County meet its rising labor in key industries. While making up 8.2% of the county’s overall population, immigrants accounted for 9.9% of essential food service workers, 9.3% of essential construction workers, and 8.2% of essential healthcare workers — all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Immigrants in Lancaster County help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Immigrants strengthened the local job market by allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil, helping preserve or create 1,200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2019.
Between 2014 and 2019 the population of Lancaster County increased by 6.5%, while the immigrant population grew by 16.2%. Over 18% of the total population growth in the county was attributable to immigrants. In 2019 alone, immigrants in the region held $455.7 million in spending power, and paid $89.2 million in federal taxes and $60.1 million in state and local taxes. Despite making up 8.2% of the area’s overall population in 2019, immigrants represented 21.1% of manufacturing workers, 11.8% of hospitality workers, and 11.7% of education workers.
The report was produced as part of NAE’s and Welcoming America’s Gateways for Growth Challenge, which includes tailored research on the local immigrant population.