IEDC Report on Impacts of Immigration

12 Jul, 2013

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest independent non-profit membership organization devoted exclusively to the field of economic development has released, “The Economic Development Impacts of Immigration.” The extensive report was produced under the guidance of IEDC’s Economic Development Research Partners program that serves as a think-tank within the organization.

As Congress debates comprehensive immigration reform, the national dialogue on this topic has been reenergized. Various political and non-profit groups have released research reports, papers, and studies about immigration, but few have focused specifically on the comprehensive economic development impact that immigrants have on local communities and the nation as a whole.

IEDC’s report does not take a political stand on the issue of immigration, but instead provides up to date research on the economic development impact of immigrants, especially as they affect job creation, entrepreneurship, and workforce.

Key findings include:

  • Immigrants contribute to economic expansion, raising wages within their communities by increasing the labor force and creating demand for goods and services.
  • Immigrants fuel the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries in the United States through innovation and high-tech entrepreneurship. Foreign temporary workers and foreign graduates of U.S. schools utilizing the H-1B visa contribute disproportionately to U.S. STEM growth.  
  • Immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses as the native born, and in doing so, they create jobs and revitalize communities.
  • Immigrants do not disproportionately use public benefits. In fact, benchmark immigration reform could raise the pace of economic growth by nearly a percentage point over the near term, raise the GDP per capita by over $1,500 and reduce the federal deficit by over $2.5 trillion.


  • During the 20 years following the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal deficits will decrease by at least $900 billion, with real GDP increases by 5.4 percent by 2033.

Included throughout the report are case studies and best practice examples on how economic development organizations and communities are implementing different strategies to engage immigrant populations in economic growth. Also included in the report are recommendations for community leaders and economic development practitioners interested in connecting with immigrant populations to grow their communities.

The report is available via download to IEDC members free of charge and for sale in print to non-members for $60.00.

Illustration by KROMKRATHOG at Free Digital

Compiled from IEDC press material.

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