New Report Shows Immigrants in the East Texas Region Paid Over $300 Million in Taxes and Exceeded $1 Billion in Spending Power in 2021

Immigrants earned $1.4 billion in income and held 8.0 percent of spending power in the region

September 20, 2023
Last modified: 
September 20, 2023

LONGVIEW, TX, September 20th, 2023 – New research, Immigrants in East Texas, released today by the American Immigration Council, underscores the crucial role immigrants in East Texas play in the region’s economy. The new report was prepared in partnership with Texans for Economic Growth, a statewide 145+ member business coalition powered by the American Immigration Council, and the Longview Chamber of Commerce. The report, which was unveiled at the Longview Chamber of Commerce’s “State of the Workforce” luncheon, focuses on East Texas communities, including Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood counties.
“The workforce shortage continues to be priority #1 for our business community. Working with organizations like the American Immigration Council is critical in having reliable data to navigate national policy,” said Longview Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Kelly Hall.
“Immigrants impact every corner of our state in myriad critical industries; it’s no different in East Texas, where we see the immigrant share of the region’s total population is 7.2 percent, but account for 10.2 percent of its employed population. Furthermore, immigrants in East Texas hold 8.0 percent of the region’s total spending power. It’s clear that these immigrants are punching well above their weight and are crucial contributors to the local economy,” added Chelsie Kramer, Texas state organizer for the American Immigration Council and Texans for Economic Growth.

Key Findings

  • Immigrants in the East Texas region contributed millions in taxes and consumer spending. In 2021, immigrant households earned $1.4 billion in income, with $188.4 million going to federal taxes and $123.8 million going to state and local taxes, leaving them with $1.1 billion in spending power that can be reinvested back into the local communities.
  • Immigrants are helping the region meet its labor force demands and will help meet future needs. In 2021, 84.2 percent of immigrants in the region were of working age, in contrast to 59.5 percent of the U.S.-born population. Immigrants made up 7.2 percent of the region’s population, yet accounted for 9.9 percent of the working age population and 10.2 percent of its employed labor force. This means immigrants played an outsized role in the region’s labor force.
  • Immigrants are helping East Texas meet rising labor needs in key industries across the skill spectrum. While making up 7.2 percent of the overall population in 2021, immigrants represented 27.1 percent of construction workers, 15.9 percent of hospitality workers, and 14.8 percent of manufacturing workers.
  • DACA-eligible immigrants play a significant role in the East Texas economy. In 2019, DACA-eligible households earned $35.0 million in income, paid nearly $7.0 million in taxes, and held $28.2 million in spending power.
  • Immigrants play a significant role in the region as entrepreneurs. Immigrants represented 15.6 percent of business owners in East Texas in 2021. Immigrants in the region were 61.7 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than their U.S.-born counterparts. Approximately 4,000 immigrant entrepreneurs generated $99.4 million in business income for the region.
  • In 2021, 15,800 immigrants owned their homes in the East Texas region, totaling a property value of $2.7 billion.

Read the full research brief to learn more.  


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Elyssa Pachico
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