91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Study: Immigrants a boon for Detroit economy

Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.

Detroit’s immigrant population is growing, and a recent study says that's good for the economy.

The New Americans in Detroit report was released today. It found that between 2010 and 2014, more than 4,100 foreign-born individuals moved to the city of Detroit.

The report also says in 2014, immigrants contributed more than $53 million in state and local taxes. Immigrants in Detroit also contributed more than $67 million to Social Security, and $17 million to Medicare.

Steve Tobocman is the Director of Global Detroit, a non-profit that looks to revitalize the city by welcoming immigrants and opening the city up to foreign trade. He says the immigrant community is the fastest growing demographic in Detroit.

“Frankly if we continue on the trend that we’ve seen just in the last five years since the 2010 census, we’ll see a 25% growth rate in the number of immigrants in the city of Detroit,” Tobocman said.

He also says the immigrant population is helping improve many neighborhoods, rather than moving to the downtown and midtown areas.

“The very neighborhoods that we are now turning our attention to as we try to revitalize the city of Detroit to make it a great place to live for everybody,” Tobocman said.

Most of the city’s immigrants are from Mexico, Bangladesh or Yemen, and as of 2014, over 95% of foreign-born residents lived in the city for more than a year.

The report shows that immigrants can help reverse Detroit's population decline.

Because the immigrant population rose roughly 12% from 2010 to 2014 (from 34,307 to 38,444), the city’s decreasing overall population isn’t going to impact the city as negatively.

Other important findings from the study can be found here.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
Related Content