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Memphis Metro Area

Immigrant Residents: 66,759

Immigrant share of population: 5.0%

Immigrant taxes paid (2014): $441.7M

Immigrant spending power (2014): $1.3B

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: 4,796


Nationally, immigrants are 17.2 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than natives. They are also more likely to have less than a bachelor’s degree. This lets them assume positions at the high and low ends of the workforce that might otherwise remain unfilled, hurting local businesses or leading employers to relocate elsewhere. Here, we show the educational attainment of immigrants in this metro area and the five industries where they make up the largest share of workers.

Workforce Education Foreign-Born Population Native-Born Population
Less Than High School 33.6% 12.2%
High School & Some College 41.4% 61.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 11.9% 17.2%
Graduate Degree 13.1% 8.8%
Top Five Industries by Share of Immigrant Workers
25.0% Construction
14.2% Administrative Support
9.5% General Services
9.1% Manufacturing
8.4% Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation


Similar to the United States as a whole, immigrants in most cities are more likely to be of working age—defined as being between the ages of 25 and 64—than the native-born population. This allows them to contribute to U.S. entitlement programs and also assume roles helping seniors as they age.

Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
0-24 16.0% 36.4%
25-64 77.0% 51.1%
65+ 7.0% 12.4%

Taxes & Spending Power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014 and contributed $105 billion in state and local taxes and almost $224 billion in federal taxes. This left them with nearly $927 billion in spending power. Immigrants play an important role contributing to local economies both as consumers and taxpayers.

Immigrant Household Income $1.8B
Taxes Paid $441.7M
State & Local Taxes $114.7M
Federal Taxes $327.0M
Total Spending Power $1.3B

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