Immigrants Add Billions To Mountain West Economy, Says Report

Sep 9, 2019

Immigrants make up more than ten percent of the population in our region. And according to a report, that can provide big economic benefits.

The study comes from the bipartisan think tank, New American Economy, which was founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp. Founder Rupert Murdoch.

In the Mountain West, immigrants paid more than $10 billion in taxes in 2017, and have more than $33 billion in spending power.

Jeremy Robbins is the organization's executive director. He says immigrants are also entrepreneurial.

"So there are more than 3 million immigrants in the United States right now that have started a business, and those businesses employ almost 8 million people in the United States," he says.

Robbins says immigrants also fill an important labor gap.

"We have a top-heavy generation, the Baby Boom generation, that's leaving the workforce and we simply don't have enough people coming in to support it. There used to be about 15 workers supporting every person on Social Security. Now there are three. Soon there's going to be two," he says.

Across the country, immigrants paid more than $405 billion in taxes in 2017, and had more than $1 trillion in spending power.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.