Immigrants contributed more than $10.5B to Wayne County's GDP

Study also finds immigrants helped offset county population decrease

Immigrants made up 9.4% of Wayne County's population in 2017. (Unsplash/Nitish Meena)

A study released Wednesday found that immigrants, who accounted for 9.4% of Wayne County's population in 2017, contributed more than $10.5 billion to the county's gross domestic product. 

The study was a collaboration between New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization, the Office of the Wayne County Executive and Wayne United. 

Wayne County's population in 2017 consisted of 164,442 immigrants with the top five countries of origin being Yemen (14.5%), Mexico (13%), India (10.9%), Lebanon (9.1%) and Bangladesh (5.7%). Immigrant households earned $4.3 billion that year, and from that $736.3 million went to federal taxes and $345.9 million to local and state taxes, according to the study.

"When you look at the numbers, the economic case for inclusion and welcoming immigrants is irrefutable -- Wayne County continues to benefit from its diversity dividend," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said. "As we try to build a more prosperous county and future, we need to help raise awareness about the key roles immigrants play across economic sectors and in our communities."

Immigrants accounted for 11.5% of the working-age population in the county, the study found. This population makes up 16.3% of Wayne County business owners.

A breakdown of entrepreneurial efforts and contributions by Wayne County immigrants. (NAE)

The study also found:

  • Immigrants were more likely to have a bachelor's degree or higher in both Wayne County and Michigan
    • 30.4% of immigrants held a bachelor's degree of higher, compared with 21.7% of U.S.-born people in Wayne County and 14.6% of immigrants held an advanced degree compared with 8.7% of U.S.-born people
  • The total property value of immigrant households was $7.4 billion
  • There were 29,252 undocumented immigrants in Wayne County in 2017
  • Between 2012 and 2017, county immigrant population increased by 24.1%

For more information, check out New American Economy's website.