Foreign-Born Populations in Erie County

Foreign-Born Population

Analysis Categories

What does this measure?

The Population, Labor Participation, Poverty Level, Education, and Salary Ranges for the Foreign-Born and Native population of Erie County.

Why is this important?

The proportion of foreign‐born residents who are working is a measure of labor force participation that seeks to include the growing influence of foreign‐born workers. As workforce growth faces  challenges, immigrants will help fill critical workforce needs. Some face barriers to working such as limited English or transferable skills.

How is Erie County doing?


Nearly 1 in 4 Foreign-born residents of Erie County experience of poverty at 23.4% as compared to native-born populations (15.7%) in Erie County. The highest sub-category of foreign-born residents of Erie County who are below the poverty level are the Non-U.S. citizens, at a rate of 30%.


The duality of Erie County's foreign-born population shows in educational attainment, wherein the foreign-born population reports being over 3 times more likely to have less than a high school education (26.6%) as compared to native-born residents (7.8%). Conversely, foreign-born residents also report a higher rate of undergraduate and higher education levels (29.3%) as compared to native-born residents (27.8%).


The duality of Erie County's foreign-born population also shows in average salary data, wherein 29.8% of the foreign-born population report making $24,999 or less as compared to native-born residents at 17.9%. Conversely, in the highest-earning category of $75,000+ per year, foreign-born residents of Erie County report a rate of 17% whereas native-born residents report 18.2%. While it is not directly tracked, these extremes could be attributed to the nature of immigration: some foreign-born residents of Erie County have immigrated to this area to perform higher-paying professional occupations, reflected in the higher salaries and education levels, whereas others have come to Erie out of necessity to begin a new life and have not been as fortunate to receive prior education or received professional training.

Over Time

The population of Erie County which is foreign-born has increased since 2009 a total estimate of +0.72% of Erie County's population. 2019 saw a decrease in the percentage of Erie County's population which was foreign-born, falling -0.41%, representing 1,230 persons.

EVS Indicators

EVS analyzes the data in each topic category using indicators, which report a targeted and digestible number, rate, or amount to represent Erie County as a whole. While this does not cover every aspect of the topic, it assists in establishing Erie's performance relative to the prior year(s). The indicator for the Demographics: Foreign-Born topic is:


This indicator measures the percentage of the population in a region that is foreign-born, which includes anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. People who become U.S. citizens through naturalization are considered foreign-born. In 2019, a -0.4% decrease puts foreign-born residents at 4.4% of the total county population. 

How does Erie compare to its Peers?

Showing Foreign-Born population in civilian labor force as percentage of the total civilian labor force.

Vanderburgh County, IN and St. Louis County, MN not included in Census ACS data.

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the U.S. Census ACS as of 12/2020.