Immigrants having outsized impact on Columbus-area’s economy

Immigrants to central Ohio are contributing more to the region’s economic growth than their American-born neighbors and filling critical labor gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent study shows.

In 2019, Central Ohio’s 180,000-plus foreign-born residents contributed $ 15.4 billion to the region’s gross domestic product and $ 2.1 billion to its tax revenue report by research center New American Economy.

Although the group comprised only 8.7% of the total population, the report found that central Ohio’s GDP accounted for 11.5% of the region’s GDP and more than its share of the region’s purchasing power, tax contributions and business activities.

“In the Columbus area, the immigrant community is a really huge impact on the economic arena,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives for New York’s New American Economy. “That means billions of dollars in taxes going into infrastructure, going to schools, going in ways that really build community.”

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