New Report Shows Immigrants in Santa Clara County Paid Over $22.0 Billion in Taxes and Held $45.0 Billion in Spending Power in 2021
Immigrants in Santa Clara County made up 50.3 percent of business owners and generated $1.5 billion in business income.
Santa Clara County, CA — A new report, New Americans In Santa Clara County, released today by the American Immigration Council — in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations — underscores the crucial role immigrants play in the county’s labor force, business creation, and consumer spending power.
Between 2016 and 2021 the population of Santa Clara County decreased by 1.7 percent while the immigrant population grew by 1.1 percent. During this time period, without immigrants moving to the county, the total population would have decreased by 2.1 percent. In 2021 alone, immigrants in the county held $45.3 billion in spending power and paid $15.4 billion in federal taxes and $6.7 billion in state and local taxes. Despite making up 40.6 percent of the county’s total population in 2021, immigrants represented 67.2 percent of its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 64.0 percent of manufacturing workers, and 56.3 percent of professional service workers.
The new report was awarded to the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. The report is the first step toward the development of a Countywide immigrant welcoming plan, with the next step being a needs assessment of the immigrant population. The goal is to find best practices to accommodate and welcome new families arriving in Santa Clara County.
“What a wonderful time to showcase the hard facts and numbers that lay out what immigrants currently do for our county, and what immigrants have always done for our country,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Otto Lee. “Silicon Valley offers immigrants opportunity and hope, and in return the immigrants do more than their share in terms of contributing to the economic boom of the county, the Bay Area, and beyond.”
“Santa Clara County, like the state of California, has a rich history of immigration, shaping the region’s culture and economy,” said Mo Kantner, senior director, policy and research at the American Immigration Council. “This report quantifies the multifaceted contributions immigrants are currently making across the county, and how their diverse skills and talents help create an inclusive, vibrant community.”
“Through programs like Gateways for Growth, we’ve seen the widespread benefits to entire communities when immigrants are able to contribute fully, particularly as entrepreneurs, workers in key industries, neighbors, and community leaders. This Welcoming Week, we are happy to say that Santa Clara County is just one example of how immigrant inclusion is part of the recipe for sustainable population and long-term economic growth,” said Molly Hilligoss, network director of Welcoming America.
- Immigrants are helping the county meet its labor force demands. In 2021, immigrants made up 40.6 percent of the county’s population but comprised 47.7 percent of the working age population and accounted for 49.9 percent of its employed labor force.
- Immigrant households support the federal safety net. Immigrants contributed $5.1 billion to Social Security and $1.8 billion to Medicare in Santa Clara County in 2021.
- Immigrants play a significant role in the county as entrepreneurs. In 2021, immigrants represented 50.3 percent of business owners in Santa Clara County and generated $1.5 billion in business income for the county.
- Immigrants are helping the county fill crucial labor force needs in STEM fields and other key industries. Despite making up 40.6 percent of the county’s total population, immigrants accounted for 67.2 percent of the region’s STEM workers, 64.0 percent of manufacturing workers, and 56.3 percent of professional service workers in 2021.
- Immigrants are helping keep jobs on U.S. soil. Immigrants in the county helped create or preserve approximately 35,200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise been eliminated or moved elsewhere by 2021.
About the Office of Immigrant Relations
The Office of Immigrant Relations is a County program that promotes immigrant integration and belonging by addressing issues and needs, and uplifting immigrant contributions. The mission of the County of Santa Clara is to plan for the needs of a dynamic community, provide quality services, and promote a healthy, safe, and prosperous community for all. We envision a county where the immigrant community is safe, connected and has opportunities to grow, thrive and feel a sense of belonging.
About the County of Santa Clara, California
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multicultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the United States. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.
About the American Immigration Council
The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on ImmigrationImpact.com and Twitter @immcouncil.
About Welcoming America
Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Through the Welcoming Network, we work to change systems and culture by providing communities the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive. Learn more at welcomingamerica.org.