Immigrants in Wyoming

October 16, 2017

Wyoming has a small but growing immigrant community, much of which emigrated from Mexico. While only 4 percent of the state’s population was born in another country, foreign-born residents help support Wyoming’s economy and are vital members of the state’s labor force. For example, nearly 13 percent of the state’s building maintenance workers and groundskeepers are immigrants, while Wyoming’s hotel and food services industry relies on immigrants for 11 percent of its employees. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Wyoming’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

Nearly 4 percent of Wyoming residents are immigrants, while nearly 5 percent are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.

  • In 2015, 21,999 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 3.8 percent of the state’s population.
  • Wyoming was home to 11,980 women, 8,165 men, and 1,854 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (46.9 percent of immigrants), the Philippines (5.1 percent), China (4.4 percent), Guatemala (4.2 percent), and England (4.1 percent).
  • In 2016, 27,580 people in Wyoming (4.8 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

More than a third of all immigrants in Wyoming are naturalized U.S. citizens.

  • 8,500 immigrants (38.6 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 1,811 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
  • More than three in four immigrants (77.4 percent) reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants in Wyoming are found across the educational spectrum.

  • More than one in five adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while a third had less than a high school diploma.

Education Level

Share (%) of All Immigrants

Share (%) of All Natives

College degree or more

21.2

26.5

Some college

19.8

37.9

High school diploma only

25.1

28.9

Less than a high-school diploma

33.9

6.7

Thousands of U.S. citizens in Wyoming live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

  • 5,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 27 percent of the immigrant population and 1 percent of the total state population in 2014.
  • 8,166 people in Wyoming, including 3,817 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, 3 percent of children in the state were U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member (3,532 children in total).

More than 400 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in Wyoming.

  • 699 Wyoming residents had applied for DACA as of 2017.
  • DACA recipients in Wyoming paid an estimated $949,000 in state and local taxes in 2016.

Immigrants are vital members of Wyoming’s labor force in a range of industries.

  • 11,111 immigrant workers comprised 3.6 percent of the labor force in 2015.
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:

Industry

Number of Immigrant Workers

Accommodation and Food Services

4,351

Construction

2,033

Health Care and Social Assistance

1,401

Retail Trade

1,194

Other Services (except Public Administration)

876

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:

Industry

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all industry workers)

Accommodation and Food Services

11.0

Construction

8.4

Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services

6.3

Other Services (except Public Administration)

5.4

Health Care and Social Assistance

3.6

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

Immigrants are an important part of the Wyoming workforce in a variety of occupations.

  • In 2015, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Number of Immigrant Workers

Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance

2,309

Food Preparation and Serving Related

2,128

Construction and Extraction

1,846

Management

1,488

Sales and Related

870

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all workers in occupation)

Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance

12.6

Food Preparation and Serving Related

7.9

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

7.0

Personal Care and Service

6.3

Construction and Extraction

5.8

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 1.4 percent of the state’s workforce in 2014.

Immigrants in Wyoming contribute millions of dollars in taxes every year.

As consumers, immigrants add hundreds of millions of dollars to Wyoming’s economy.

  • Wyoming residents in immigrant-led households had $449 million in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to Wyoming’s business community.

  • 417 immigrant business owners accounted for 1.1 percent of all self-employed Wyoming residents in 2015.

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