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New Data Shows the Economic Benefits of Immigrants in Seattle


City of Seattle and New American Economy Release Data on the Positive Impacts of Foreign-Born Residents in Seattle and Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Today, the City of Seattle joined with the bipartisan immigration advocacy coalition New American Economy (NAE) in their nationwide release of new research on the contributions of immigrants in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area. The research, dubbed Map the Impact highlights the significant economic contributions of immigrants and the critical need for immigration reform. For instance, immigrants paid $6.5 billion in state and local taxes and held $16.9 billion in spending power in 2014.

Mayor Ed Murray has long touted the benefits of welcoming immigrants and refugees. It is not only the right thing to do, it also makes smart economic sense. Yesterday, Mayor Murray’s State of the City speech made the link between Seattle’s welcoming city values and the city’s economic success, success that is shared across the nation. “We are a welcoming city for thousands of new Americans, and, together with the other nine largest welcoming cities in America, account for one-third of the country’s gross domestic product.”

Map the Impact provides business, civic, and cultural leaders with new data on immigrant populations in all 435 Congressional Districts and 50 metro areas. Featured in an interactive map that also includes state- and sector-specific data, NAE quantifies every locality’s foreign-born population, tax contributions, spending power, home ownership, and voting power, among other items.

Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs director Cuc Vu believes the data can be an effective tool in the larger toolbox to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. “This information can be effective in educating voters about the contributions that immigrants and refugees make to our economy,” says Vu. “Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Trump Administration and Congress, the truth is that immigrants – from farmworkers to tech workers – will continue to enrich Seattle’s economy and contribute to the success of America.”

In the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area, Map the Impact shows:

  • There are 613,667 foreign-born residents who make up 16.7 percent of the area’s population.
  • Immigrants own 131,178 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.
  • Immigrants make up 28.2 percent of the tourism, hospitality, and recreation industry.

Visit Map the Impact for state, city, and district information that help tell the story of the positive contributions of immigrants to the American economy.

More information can be found at