TULSA, Oklahoma - The City of Tulsa just released a report that examines the economic impact of immigrants in the Tulsa metro area. The report by New American Economy is based on figures gathered between 2010 and 2015, according to a news release.

The report documents the growth of Tulsa's immigrant population within those five years. They represent 6.7 percent of the total metro population, but foreign-born residents in Tulsa account for 27.9 percent of overall population growth, it says. 

Immigrants in the workforce 

Immigrants are slightly more likely to be employed than U.S.-born residents and more likely to be self-employed, the study shows. They are making up significant parts of the workforce in construction, tourism and hospitality, and manufacturing.

In Tulsa, they hold 5.5 percent of business and finance jobs, 4.8 percent of healthcare practice jobs and 2.7 percent of education jobs, the report states. 

"Given their income, immigrants contributed significantly to state and local taxes including property, incomes, sales and excise taxes," the report found.

Immigrants and education

In 2015, almost 2,000 students enrolled in Tulsa higher education held temporary resident visas, spending about $70 million in that academic year. Slightly over half of those international students who graduated in 2015 found employment in the Tulsa metro area, according to New American Economy figures.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said he launched the New Tulsans Initiative with the goal of building a more diverse city, promote "socially responsible immigrant integration" and removing barriers to small business growth.

Tulsa Regional Chamber President Mike Neal said the metro's immigrant population adds critical value to the local economy.

The study was released to coincide with a New Tulsans Initiative Summit Wednesday, November 29 at the downtown library.