Black Immigrants Impact Economy: Earned $133 Billion, Paid $35 Billion in Taxes - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

A study released this week showed that in 2018, black immigrants earned $133 billion, paid more than $35 billion in taxes, and had spending power of $98 billion.

The study was conducted by the New American Economy, a bipartisan immigration research and advocacy organization. It defines black immigrants as any person who was born outside the United States to non-U.S. citizen parents and who identifies as black or African American. The study also shows between 2010 and 2018, the number of black immigrants grew from 3.3 million people to more than 4.3 million—a 30% increase.

Research showed black immigrants excel in several important areas showing higher than average rates of naturalization and English language proficiency among immigrants. More than 90% of black immigrants speak English well or only speak English, compared to nearly 60% of Hispanic immigrants and about 81% of Asian immigrants.

Additionally, immigrants from African countries serve in critical roles in the healthcare industry, which is currently dealing with a labor shortage and reeling amid the coronavirus outbreak.

African immigrants, many of whom make it to the U.S. through the diversity visa lottery or as refugees, also have much higher levels of educational attainment than the overall U.S. average, one of the main reasons they earn so much.

Black immigrants are now starting to make waves in the political spectrum. The number of registered voters in New York (553,800), Florida (413,700), New Jersey (140,800), Maryland (140,000), and Texas (121,000) continues to climb. In Texas, the black immigrant population has grown significantly, mostly from Africa.

From 2010 to 2018, the number of immigrants from African countries in the state rose by almost 81%, from 161,500 to 292,100. Many are from Nigeria, although a significant number of immigrants are also coming from Central and South America, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.

This isn’t the first study to show the power of immigrants from African and Caribbean countries. A 2015 Nielsen research study finds that the median household income for foreign-born blacks is 30% higher than U.S.-born African Americans.