Report: Immigrants Pack an Economic Punch in Greater Portland

Today, the City of Portland, together with MeBIC partners, the Greater Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and New American Economy released a report highlighting the economic and demographic power of immigrants in Portland and the surrounding metropolitan area.

Some highlights from the report:

* From 2011-2016, immigrants were responsible for 75% of the population growth in Portland, South Portland and Westbrook.

* In 2016, immigrants in the Portland metropolitan area (including parts of Cumberland, Sagadahoc and York counties) contributed $1.2 billion to the area’s GDP and paid over $133 million in federal taxes, including over $57 million in Social Security and nearly $15 million in Medicare taxes.  They also paid $62 million in state and local taxes.

* In 2016,  at 4.6% of the population in metro Portland, immigrants were also 4.6% of the employed labor force, and were over-represented in STEM professions at 6%.   Nearly 8% of immigrants were entrepreneurs in 2016.

* Metro Portland’s immigrants had over $521 million in spending power in 2016, and spent $42 million in rent.  Nearly 57% of immigrants owned their own homes.  

* Over 55% of metro Portland’s immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2016, with another 24% eligible to naturalize.

By joining the local workforce, immigrants in the metro Portland area helped create or keep nearly 1,120 local manufacturing jobs that might otherwise have disappeared or moved out of Maine or the U.S. by 2016.

This report highlights the importance of immigrants in stemming Portland’s (and Maine’s) population decline, shoring up the labor supply, and helping Maine have the conditions needed so that our communities and our economy can remain vibrant and grow.

Read the report here.