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New data on immigrants in the state of Washington: A demographic and economic profile

The American Immigration Council released new data on Washington state’s immigrant population and their contributions to the state. The Washington state fact sheet includes data on population size, occupation, and tax contributions, as well as data on undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in the state.

While the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the critical role immigrants are playing on the front lines and stimulating our economic recovery, it remains crucial for the public to understand the broad range of contributions immigrants make to communities in Washington state.

The Council’s fact sheet, Immigrants in Washington, shows that 15% of the state’s residents are immigrants. The economy of Washington—one of the highest food-producing states in the nation—also relies heavily on its growing immigrant population, as over half of the state’s farmers, fishers, and foresters are immigrants.

The fact sheet also reveals that immigrants in Washington state represent 19% of the state’s labor force and paid $9.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.9 billion in state and local taxes in 2018. As consumers, immigrants spent $34.3 billion on Washington state’s economy in 2018. Immigrant entrepreneurs in Washington generated $2.3 billion in business revenue in 2018. 

As of 2019, Washington state was home to 16,200 active DACA recipients, and 63% of DACA-eligible immigrants in the state had applied for DACA. Washington state DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $49.8 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

Undocumented immigrants comprised 3% of Washington state’s total population and 5% of the state’s workforce in 2016. Undocumented immigrants in Washington state paid an estimated $678.7 million in federal taxes and $367.9 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

Drawing from U.S. Census data and other sources, the Council developed 50 state fact sheets that provide the latest demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in each U.S. state and can be accessed here.

This press release was provided by the American Immigration Council.

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