Akron’s Immigrant Population Creates Jobs, Wealth

 

Last month, CNN reported that immigrants to Akron, Ohio, are doing nothing less than helping save that city’s economy. Between 2007 and 2013, the Rubber City’s immigrant population increased by more than 30%, helping to stem what could have been a devastating population decline.

“We were losing people like most Midwestern cities,” said Akron’s mayor Daniel Horrigan. “The foreign-born people are helping us. They want to send their kids to school, they buy houses and they pay taxes.”

Low-income immigrants use public benefits like Medicaid and food stamps at a much lower rate than low-income native-born citizens.

In 2013, Akron’s immigrant population held nearly $137 million in disposable income and paid about $17 million in state and local taxes. More than a third of Akron’s immigrants are now homeowners, compared to 53% of the area’s U.S.-born residents.

Contrary to long-held assumptions by many conservatives, low-income immigrants use public benefits like Medicaid and food stamps at a much lower rate than low-income native-born citizens. One high-level employee with Summit County’s public assistance program said refugees tend to find employment and get off assistance much faster than other clients.

To read the full CNN article, click here.

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