Washington state has the second-highest food production in the nation and relies heavily on its growing immigrant population. While roughly one in seven Washington residents is foreign-born, over half of the state’s farmers, fishers, and foresters are immigrants. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Washington’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

Roughly one in seven residents of Washington State is an immigrant, while one in eight residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

In 2015, 980,158 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 13.7 percent of the state’s population.
Washington was home to 474,417 women, 445,423 men, and 60,318 children who were immigrants.
The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (24.2 percent of immigrants), the Philippines (7.4 percent), India (6.7 percent), China (6.1 percent), and Vietnam (5.2 percent).
In 2016, 937,578 people in Washington (13.2 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

More than 45 percent of immigrants in Washington are naturalized U.S. citizens.

458,313 immigrants (46.8 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 184,054 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
Over three-quarters (76.8 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants in Washington are concentrated at both ends of the educational spectrum.

One in three adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while one in four had less than a high school diploma.

Over 170,000 U.S. citizens in Washington live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

250,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 27 percent of the immigrant population and 3.6 percent of the total state population in 2014.
351,016 people in Washington, including 151,209 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
During the same period, 1 in 12 children in the state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (130,326 children in total).

More than 16,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in Washington State.

In 2016, 73 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants in Washington, or 19,581 people, had applied for DACA.
An additional 10,000 residents of the state satisfied all but the educational requirements for DACA, and another 7,000 would be eligible as they grew older.

One in six workers in Washington is an immigrant, together making up a vital part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries.

621,793 immigrant workers comprised 17.2 percent of the labor force in 2015.
Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:

Health Care and Social Assistance
90,011
Manufacturing
78,637
Retail Trade
75,524
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
68,419
Accommodation and Food Services
65,894

The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
40.4
Accommodation and Food Services
21.2
Administrative & Support; Waste Management; and Remediation Services
20.1
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
19.7
Wholesale Trade
19.0

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

In 2015, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:

Management
59,764
Office and Administrative Support
57,388
Sales and Related
54,673
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance
51,087
Transportation and Material Moving
50,204

The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
53.2
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance
30.9
Computer and Mathematical Sciences
28.6
Production
22.2
Personal Care and Service
19.8

Undocumented immigrants comprised 5 percent of the state’s workforce in 2014.

Immigrants in Washington have contributed billions of dollars in taxes.

Immigrant-led households in the state paid $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $2.4 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
Undocumented immigrants in Washington paid an estimated $316.6 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to $348.3 million if they could receive legal status.
DACA recipients in Washington paid an estimated $51.3 million in state and local taxes in 2016.

As consumers, immigrants add billions of dollars to Washington’s economy.

Washington residents in immigrant-led households had $22.8 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Immigrant entrepreneurs in Washington generate billions of dollars in business revenue.

65,036 immigrant business owners accounted for 17.2 percent of all self-employed Washington residents in 2015 and generated $1.6 billion in business income.
In 2015, immigrants accounted for 27.7 percent of business owners in the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue metropolitan area and 23.2 percent in the Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton metro area (which stretches from Oregon through Washington).

 

source:  American Immigration Council