Immigrants in Atlanta are driving economic growth, according to a study released this week.
New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research and advocacy organization focused on immigration, released new data highlighting the significant contributions immigrants make to the Atlanta community and economy. The metro area’s immigrant household income grew by nearly 13 percent in just one year. Moreover, immigrants are major consumers helping power Atlanta’s businesses.
In 2017, Atlanta’s immigrants held $21.6 billion in spending power, a nearly $3.5 billion increase from 2016. They also pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. Also in 2017, immigrants in Atlanta paid nearly $8 billion in federal, state, and local taxes and held $21.6 billion in spending power.
Other key findings include:
- Immigrants are significant contributors to the Atlanta housing market. In 2017, there were 196,520 immigrant homeowners, a nine percent increase in just one year.
- Immigrants are critical job creators. In Atlanta, immigrants are 40 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents, and in 2017, there were more than 73,000 immigrant entrepreneurs.
- Immigrants may play a larger role in upcoming elections. More than 350,000 Atlanta immigrants were eligible to vote, an increase of more than 27,000 voters from 2016. For context, Gov. Brian Kemp won his 2018 gubernatorial race by fewer than 55,000 votes.
The research is part of NAE’s Map the Impact, an interactive map that quantifies immigrant contributions at the national, state, metro area, and congressional district levels, and across industries.
“Immigrants play a critical role in Atlanta’s growing job market,” said Kate Brick, director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “This data underscores the importance of local policies that help recruit and retain talent from around the world to the region.”