On World Refugee Day, Studies Highlight Refugee Contributions to the U.S.

Communications Associate

June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The economic advantages of welcoming refugees to our communities far outweigh the cost, according to two recent reports.

Refugees make significant contributions even as they build new lives after fleeing desperate situations, according to a report by New American Economy. Thirteen percent of all refugees in the U.S. were entrepreneurs, as compared to 9 percent of the U.S.-born population. The report, which was released on the eve of World Refugee Day, noted that more than 180,000 refugee entrepreneurs were living in the U.S. in 2015.

Furthermore, refugees pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits in the long term, according to a recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Refugees who entered the country as adults pay an average of $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits after living here for 20 years.

“Our shared values as Americans compel us to welcome refugees fleeing violence and persecution. Support for these vulnerable communities remains strong, resettling refugees poses minimal security risk and the economic benefits are clear,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director at the National Immigration Forum. “Congress and the Trump administration need to ensure refugees have the support they need to integrate fully and to contribute to our country to their full potential.”