Immigrant Voters Increase in Battleground Districts, According to New Report
New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research and immigration advocacy organization, released new data showing the significant contributions that immigrants make to America’s 3,000+ counties. The data, which shows taxes paid, industries supported, and businesses started, is featured on Map the Impact, an interactive map that quantifies immigrant contributions at the national, state, city, congressional district, and now county levels, and across business sectors. As communities across the country work to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, this new data illustrates the many ways in which immigrants contribute to counties across every corner of the United States.
Key findings include:
- This election year, immigrants make up significant numbers of eligible voters, especially in many suburban, electoral battlegrounds. This includes Texas’ 22nd Congressional District in Fort Bend County, TX, where 22.3% of the electorate is foreign-born. Other battlegrounds include Orange County, CA (CA-39, CA-45, and CA-48), where 23.5% of the electorate is foreign-born, and Gwinnett, GA (GA-07), where 18.0% of the election is foreign-born.
- Immigrants are more spread out than ever before, moving to new gateway communities across the United States, many in states that have seen significant increases in their immigrant population in recent years. In Iowa, Johnson County (11.0% immigrant) and Polk County (9.0%) are emerging as new immigrant hubs. Meanwhile, other counties like Twin Falls, ID (8.5%) and Cass County, ND (6.8%) are also becoming new destinations for new Americans.
- Immigrant households pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In Harris County, TX, immigrant households paid more than $9.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and held almost $27.3 billion in spending power, supporting local businesses ranging from grocery stores to restaurants to clothing shops.
- Immigrant entrepreneurs drive local economies. In just the largest 10 U.S. counties, there were almost 1 million immigrant business owners. In Maricopa County, AZ alone, there were more than 50,000 immigrant business owners in 2018.
"With the election approaching, this new county-level analysis shows that immigrants are becoming an increasingly powerful part of the electorate in the battleground districts that experts predict will decide the outcome in the November 3 Presidential election," said Andrew Lim, Director of Quantitative Research at New American Economy. "Immigrant households will also play a key role in the economic recovery of local communities across every part of the United States in the months ahead."
Map the Impact shows the latest data from the 2018 American Community Survey. You can find the latest version of the Map at https://data.newamericaneconomy.org/en/counties/index.html.