New Report Shows Immigrants in Androscoggin County, Maine Paid Over $24 Million in Taxes and Held Over $74 Million in Spending Power in 2019

Over one-quarter of immigrants in Androscoggin County had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2019

April 4, 2024
Last modified: 
April 4, 2024

LEWISTON, Maine, April 3, 2024 — A new report, New Americans in Androscoggin County, released last week by the American Immigration Council, in partnership with the University of Southern Maine, emphasizes the crucial role immigrants play in the county’s labor force, business creation, and consumer spending power.

In 2019, more than 4,000 immigrants lived in Androscoggin County, accounting for 3.9% of the total population. Immigrants represented 4.4% of its working age population and 3.6% of its employed labor force, despite making up 3.9% of the county’s overall population.

“This report captures the crucial role that immigrants play in driving growth in Androscoggin County,” said Micaela McConnell, senior policy associate, state and local initiatives at the American Immigration Council. “By recognizing and harnessing the skills and talents of the county’s vibrant immigrant community and international students, the community is making an important investment in its future.”

The new report was awarded to the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact and the Career and Employment Hub at the University of Southern Maine as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities.

“USM is among a few public universities that received the Gateways for Growth award and the very first one to apply and receive the award as the sole leading agency,” said Marina Chakmakchi, Global Talent Navigator at the university’s Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact. “The research brief emphasizes the need for bilingual and culturally competent public service and healthcare workers in the county. To address this need, our Lewiston Auburn Campus offers an expanded range of healthcare-focused programs.”

The new research report, New Americans in Androscoggin County, finds:

  • Immigrants actively participate in the labor force. In 2019, immigrants in Androscoggin County were 14.7% more likely to be of working age than their U.S.-born counterparts, positioning them to actively contribute to the economy as taxpayers and consumers.
  • Immigrants are poised to contribute to the county’s economy across the skills spectrum. In 2019, 27.6% of immigrants held a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 22.3% of their U.S.-born counterparts. In that same year, 24.7% of immigrants had less than a high school education, compared to 9.8% of U.S.-born residents, uniquely positioning immigrants to fill jobs with and without degree requirements.
  • Immigration is helping drive population growth in Androscoggin County. Immigrants accounted for 11.9% of the population growth in Androscoggin County between 2014 and 2019. Without immigrants moving to the county, the total population would have decreased by 0.5%.
  • Immigrants support the federal safety net. In 2019, immigrants in Androscoggin County contributed $8.6 million to Social Security and $2.3 million to Medicare. 
  • Immigrants in Androscoggin County help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Immigrants strengthened the local job market by allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil and helped preserve or create 200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise been eliminated or moved elsewhere by 2019.

“Through programs like Gateways for Growth, we’ve seen the widespread benefits to entire communities when immigrants are able to contribute fully, particularly as entrepreneurs, workers in key industries, neighbors, and community leaders. Androscoggin County and nearby Portland, Maine—a Certified Welcoming city—are just a few examples of how immigrant inclusion is part of the recipe for sustainable population and economic growth,” said Molly Hilligoss, Network Director of Welcoming America.

Read the full research brief to learn more.


About the University of Southern Maine

Situated in Maine’s economic and cultural center, the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students taking courses online and at campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community, USM provides students with hands-on experience that complements classroom learning and leads to employment opportunities in one of the nation’s most desirable places to live.

About the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on and X @immcouncil. 

About Welcoming America

Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Through the Welcoming Network, we work to change systems and culture by providing communities the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive. Learn more at

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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