New Americans in Passaic County

Overhead view of a New Jersey suburb

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.

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Read the Report: New Americans in Passaic County
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New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants in Passaic County paid over $1.3 billion in taxes and held $3.6 billion in spending power in 2019. The new report, New Americans in Passaic County, was prepared in partnership with Passaic County and William Paterson University Small Business Center.

The report also features profiles of two Passaic County residents: Alia Suqi and Mario Tommolillo.

Key Findings

  • Immigrants are helping Passaic County meet its labor force demands. In 2019, immigrants made up 31.2 percent of the County’s overall population, represented 38.2 percent of its working-age population, and 40 percent of its employed labor force.
  • Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born contributed over $504 million to Social Security and over $127 million to Medicare in 2019. 
  • Immigrants are helping Passaic County meet its rising labor in STEM and key industries. Despite making up 31.2 percent of Passaic County’s overall population, immigrants accounted for 32.3 percent of the region’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 73.6 percent of food manufacturing workers, 53.6 percent of essential services workers, and 39.9 percent of healthcare workers — all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Immigrants play a particularly significant role in the region’s entrepreneurs. Immigrants represented 47 percent of business owners in Passaic County in 2019. About 8,800 immigrant entrepreneurs generated $214.2 million in business income.
  • Immigrants in Passaic 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 7,200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2019.

Between 2014 and 2019 the Passaic County population decreased by 0.5 percent, while the immigrant population grew by 10.1 percent. Without growth in the immigrant population, the total population in Passaic County would have decreased even more, by 3.3 percent. In 2019 alone, immigrants in Passaic County held $3.6 billion in spending power, and paid over $845 million in federal taxes and $491 million in state and local taxes. Despite making up 31.2 percent of the area’s overall population, immigrants represented 58.3 percent of manufacturing workers, 52.9 percent of transportation and warehouse workers, and 49.3 percent of construction workers. The overall population in Passaic County increased by 4.6 percent from 2010 to 2020. 

The report was produced as part of NAE and Welcoming America’s Gateways for Growth Challenge, which includes tailored research on the local immigrant population.

Read the full press release here.

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…