Report validates immigrants' wide-ranging contribution to Michigan economic success

A report which came out August 3, “The Contributions of New Americans in Michigan,” examines the broad and positive economic impact being made by the more than 640,000 immigrants who call Michigan home. The Michigan Office for New Americans (MONA) in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is partnering on the release of the report and the Reason for Reform campaign that is sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE).

“Immigration has proven to be a driver of job creation and economic growth in Michigan,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “As a welcoming state, we know and value the cultural diversity, professional contributions and entrepreneurial skills offered by foreign-born residents. We look forward to working with our federal partners toward making immigration reform a reality to create more jobs for families and enhance the quality of life across Michigan.”

The report is a culmination of research including data on the foreign-born population in the state including tax contributions, spending power, and the role in Michigan’s key industries as leaders and job creators. It also highlights the need for state business, civic and cultural leaders to urge Congress to take action on immigration reform.

Over the years, new Americans arriving in Michigan have helped mitigate some of the negative effects of the state’s economic downturn and loss of population during the Great Recession. In 1990, Michigan’s immigrant community represented less than 4 percent of the state’s total population, a share that had risen to nearly 6 percent by 2010. Between 2010 and 2014, Michigan’s foreign-born population grew by an additional 60,000 (almost twice as fast as the national average), making the state a standout from others in its attraction to new Americans.

Key contributions of new Americans in Michigan in the report:

—New Americans in Michigan contribute significantly to the state as both taxpayers and consumers, earning $19.6 billion in income in 2014 (or 7.7 percent of all income earned by Michiganders), and paying out $5.4 billion in overall taxes — including $1.5 billion in state and local taxes that support Michigan’s public schools and police.

—They have significant buying power, spending $14.2 billion (net income after taxes) on consumer goods and services offered by Michigan businesses.

—They are homeowners, strengthening Michigan’s housing market. Approximately 160,000 foreign-born homeowners in the state held almost $35 billion in housing wealth in 2014 and generated 9.7 percent of the state’s rental income.

—The 30,686 self-employed immigrants in Michigan represent 8.3 percent of the state’s entrepreneurs. These immigrant-owned businesses generated more than $608 million in business income in 2014.

—They account for 25.3 percent of the state’s tech talent in computer systems design, contributing to the state’s technology industry that brings economic opportunity and jobs.

—They are helping meet Michigan’s ever-increasing demand for workers in STEM jobs; and are already playing a valuable role in helping ease Michigan’s shortage of healthcare workers that are needed to serve Michigan’s aging population.

These and other key statistics on immigrants in Michigan can be found in the full PNAE report, as well as on the MONA website at

“Michigan has become increasingly attractive to new Americans which has proven to have a very, very positive impact on our state on so many levels,” said MONA Director Bing Goei. “This report validates their contributions toward strengthening our economy, building our workforce, creating jobs, increasing our competitiveness globally, and revitalizing our communities. These new Michiganders are working here as college professors, mechanical engineers, and IT professionals; working in our schools, manufacturing plants, on our farms and in the healthcare system, all boosting Michigan’s economic success.”

MONA was established by Gov. Snyder in 2014 to support immigration efforts for the state of Michigan.

The Partnership for a New Economy brings together more than 500 Republican, Democrat and Independent mayors and business leaders who support sensible immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today.

Visit to learn more.