Immigrants are a growing portion of Pennsylvania’s population and are vital contributors to its economy, especially in the Philadelphia area, writes John McGuire for AL DÍA News.
A report published last year by New American Economy found that there are 867,992 immigrants living in Pennsylvania, a number that accounts for 6.8 percent of the total population. They have around $20.2 billion in spending power and pay nearly $7.5 billion in taxes.
In addition to spending money in the state, immigrants are also starting businesses. Last year, there were 51,561 immigrant entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania and 143,211 employees at firms owned by immigrants.
The study also found that, as of 2014, the majority of them live in Philadelphia’s metropolitan area. In fact, immigrants here paid $6 billion in taxes last year and had around $13.5 billion in spending power.
Undocumented immigrants, such as DACA recipients, also contribute to the local economy. According to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania’s chief financial watchdog, there are around 21,000 DACA recipients in the state, with 5,000 of them living in the Philadelphia area.
While calculating the exact number is difficult, DePasquale estimates that they contribute tens of millions of dollars to the state’s economy.
Read more about immigrants’ contribution to the Pennsylvania economy in AL DÍA News here.