Immigrants in Wyoming

August 6, 2020

Immigrants in WyomingWyoming has a small but growing community of immigrants, many of whom emigrated from Mexico. While only 3 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, 10 percent of the state’s healthcare support workers are immigrants, as are 8 percent of workers in food preparation and serving occupations. As neighbors, business owners, taxpayers, and workers, immigrants are an integral part of Wyoming’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

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

  • In 2018, 17,528 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 3 percent of the population.
  • Wyoming was home to 9,432 women, 7,815 men, and 281 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (40 percent of immigrants), China (12 percent), Germany (7 percent), England (4 percent), and Canada (4 percent).
  • In 2018, 26,238 people in Wyoming (5 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.

  • 6,302 immigrants (36 percent) had naturalized as of 2018, and 5,772 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2017.
  • Four in five (80 percent) immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.” 

Immigrants in Wyoming are distributed across the educational spectrum.

  • About one-third (32 percent) of adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2018, while nearly one-fifth (19 percent) had less than a high school diploma.

Education Level

Share (%) of All Immigrants

Share (%) of All Natives

College degree or more

32

27

Some college

18

38

High school diploma only

31

29

Less than a high school diploma

19

6

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.

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

  • 5,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 32 percent of the immigrant population and 1 percent of the total state population in 2016.
  • 8,166 people in Wyoming, including 4,218 U.S. citizens, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, about 3 percent of children in the state were U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member (3,532 children in total).

Wyoming is home to hundreds of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

  • 510 active DACA recipients lived in Wyoming as of March 2020, while DACA has been granted to 662 people in total since 2012.

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

  • 11,757 immigrant workers comprised 4 percent of the labor force in 2018. 
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:

Industry

Number of Immigrant Workers

Retail Trade

3,350

Educational Services

2,052

Accommodation and Food Services

1,868

Health Care and Social Assistance

1,502

Construction

1,111

Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 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)

Retail Trade

8

Information

7

Accommodation and Food Services

6

Educational Services

5

Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services

5

Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

Immigrants are an integral part of the Wyoming workforce in a range of occupations.

  • In 2018, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Number of Immigrant Workers

Sales and Related

2,037

Educational Instruction and Library

1,805

Food Preparation and Serving Related

1,805

Office and Administrative Support

1,624

Construction and Extraction

1,593

Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 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)

Military Specific

10

Healthcare Support

10

Food Preparation and Serving Related

8

Educational Instruction and Library

7

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

7

Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 2 percent of Wyoming’s workforce in 2016.

Immigrants in Wyoming have contributed over $150 million in taxes.

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

  • Wyoming residents in immigrant-led households had $486.4 million in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018.

Immigrant entrepreneurs in Wyoming generate millions of dollars in business revenue.

  • 534 immigrant business owners accounted for 2 percent of all self-employed Wyoming residents in 2018 and generated $2.1 million in business income.

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