Immigrants: Critical Contributors to Illinois

Group of different skin-color with USA flags

Immigrants in Illinois contribute a lot to local communities as citizens across the state. The following data shows how immigrants comprise the residents, workers, and students that support Illinois as of 2020.

Immigrants Account for One in Every Seven Residents in Illinois

In Illinois, according to the American Immigration Council, one out of seven residents is an immigrant. Native-born U.S. citizens who have at least one immigrant parent account for another one in seven residents.

In 2018, there were around 1.8 million immigrants in Illinois. The majority of those immigrants came from Mexico (36%), followed by India, Poland, the Philippines, and China. Of those immigrants, 844,506 were men, 866,951 were women, and there were 79,856 immigrant children.

Illinois Contains Many DACA Recipients

As of March 2020, there were around 33,940 recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In 2019, around 51% of individuals who were eligible to receive DACA applied for the program. 

One in Every Six Workers Is an Immigrant in Illinois

When it comes to the workforce in Illinois, immigrants account for a huge portion. In total, as of 2018, Illinois contained 1.2 million immigrant workers. These workers had occupations primarily in the manufacturing, health care, hospitality, food service, retail, and construction industries.

Regarding specific occupations, most immigrant workers had jobs in production, transportation and material moving, office and administrative support, sales, and management.

A Majority of Illinois Immigrants Are Naturalized

In Illinois, 52% of immigrants were naturalized as of 2018, with over 77% found to speak English either “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants Contribute Billions to the State Economy as Consumers

In addition to being contributory workers in many industries, immigrant residents in Illinois are also huge spenders as consumers. As of 2018, residents in immigrant-led households in Illinois had a spending power of $47.8 billion after taxes.

Immigrants Paid Tens of Billions Toward Taxes

In 2018, Illinois households made up of immigrants and immigrant families contributed $7.7 billion in state and local taxes, along with $12.7 billion in federal taxes.

Undocumented immigrants also contributed over a billion dollars, paying $708.9 million in state and local taxes and $945.5 million in federal taxes.

Immigrants enrolled or eligible for the DACA program accounted for another $120.5 million in state and local taxes.

These are just some of the ways immigrants continue to contribute to local communities.