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Economic and fiscal impact of refugees in Colorado

Date Added to Library: 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 20:29
Individual Author: 
Modicamore, Dominic
Reference Type: 
Published Date: 
Published Date (Date): 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Colorado is home to thousands of refugees from all over the world who fled violence and persecution to seek safety and sanctuary in the United States. As these individuals and families put down roots in Colorado, they spark a multitude of regional economic impacts through their spending and through the wages they earn working in industries across the economy. To better understand and quantify these economic implications, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Refugee Services Program (CRSP) commissioned ICF to measure the economic impact of refugees in Colorado. The intent of this study is to understand the economic impact of the public support paid to refugees and their families as well as the economic impact of refugees’ employment earnings over time. This study is unique for four key reasons:

  • first, unlike previous studies, this analysis relied on actual data on individual refugees’ receipt of public services as well as their earnings;
  • second, this study included not only the impact of public spending on refugees, but also assessed the impact of refugees’ earnings in the economy – a critical component of understanding the full scope of impact;
  • third, this analysis used a cohort approach in order to capture a static population of refugees across multiple years;
  • fourth, this analysis accounted for the spending of Colorado taxpayer dollars on refugee assistance by subtracting the impact that would have been generated if the taxpayer had retained that income; and
  • separate from the primary economic impact and fiscal analyses, this report also includes three case studies that provide additional insight into refugee resettlement in Colorado. (Author introduction)
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