Fort Wayne / Allen County is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the Greater Lakes region. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data released in 2022, Fort Wayne / Allen County’s growth rate was more than twice the national rate. While our community has netted positive domestic migration numbers for the past six years, there is still much to be learned about the growing foreign-born population resettling in Fort Wayne / Allen County.
Through the data gathered since 2019, we now know 24% of the total population growth is attributable to immigrants who made the decision to make Fort Wayne / Allen County home. More than 80% of immigrants in the county have resided in the U.S. for more than five years. Immigrants play a critical role in Fort Wayne / Allen County’s economic growth contributing considerable amounts of support to the manufacturing, construction and hospitality industries. They are generating millions of dollars as entrepreneurs, and they are contributing $99.1 million to federal taxes and $61.8 million in state and local taxes.
Foreign-born residents choose to raise children in Fort Wayne / Allen County. In 2019, 14.3% of K-12 students were immigrants or the children of immigrants. Fort Wayne Community Schools reported 3,600 English Language Learning Students were enrolled during the 2022-2023 school year.
Immigrants and refugees and the generations to follow make a choice every day to invest into our community. Through the review of data and working with community leaders, it is evident that more must be done to ensure New Americans in Fort Wayne / Allen County have equitable access and opportunities in all sectors of life. After many months of research and conversations, this Welcoming Plan is a direct response to what we can do as a community to create a more welcoming city for all residents. Our goal is to work with stakeholders to implement and execute the recommendations and strategies in this plan.