Study: Michigan Immigrants Have $18.4B in Spending Power, Paid $7.1B in Taxes

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In Michigan, 40 percent of state residents born in another country have at least a college degree. Immigrants in the state paid $2.1 billion in state and local taxes in 2018. iStock photo

The American Immigration Council has released new data on Michigan’s immigrant population and their contributions to the state that shows 40 percent of state residents born in another country possess a college or higher degree and make up 10 percent of the state’s health care practitioners, technologists, and technicians.

According to the Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., immigrants in Michigan made up 8 percent of the state’s labor force in 2018, and paid $5 billion in federal taxes and $2.1 billion in state and local taxes.

In turn, Michigan residents in immigrant-led households had $18.4 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018, and immigrant entrepreneurs in Michigan generated $731.5 million in business revenue in 2018. Based on the data, 7 percent of the state’s population is made up of residents who were born in another country.

The Council’s Michigan state fact sheet includes data on population size, occupation, and tax contributions, as well as data on undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the state.

As of 2019, Michigan was home to 5,270 active DACA recipients, and 41 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants in the state had applied for DACA. Michigan DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $13.4 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

In addition, according to the study, undocumented immigrants comprised 1 percent of Michigan’s total population and 1 percent of the state’s workforce in 2016. Undocumented immigrants in Michigan paid an estimated $317.1 million in federal taxes and $143.5 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

The study also shows:

  • In 2018, 695,217 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 7 percent of the population.
  • Michigan was home to 324,461 women, 319,387 men, and 51,369 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (13 percent of immigrants), India (11 percent), Iraq (10 percent), China (5 percent), and Canada (5 percent).
  • In 2018, 686,382 people in Michigan (7 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.
  • 372,793 immigrants (54 percent) had naturalized as of 2018, and 120,680 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2017.
  • More than four in five (83 percent) immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”
  • More than two in five (43 percent) adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2018, while one in five (20 percent) had less than a high school diploma.

Drawing from U.S. Census data and other sources, the Council developed 50 state fact sheets — including infographics — that provide the latest demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in each U.S. state and can be accessed here.

To learn more about the array of chambers of commerce in metro Detroit, including ethnic chambers, visit here.

Written by R.J. King for dBusiness magazine.