E.g., 09/17/2019
E.g., 09/17/2019

Profile of Immigrants in Napa County

This report provides a comprehensive profile of the immigrant population in Napa County, California, an agricultural region with a wine industry driven largely by immigrant labor and a long history of welcoming immigrants, Latino immigrants from Mexico in particular. It examines the effect of immigration on the county’s demographic trends and calculates the economic contributions of immigrants as well as their impact on state and local government revenues and expenditures. The report concludes with recommendations of policies and practices likely to ensure immigrants' continued role as productive members of the Napa Valley community.

The shift toward more permanent immigration to Napa County over the past two decades appears to have led to a substantial growth in the size of the county’s Latino population, with Latinos representing nearly one-third of the total population by 2010. Latinos in Napa County appear to fare better than Latinos statewide with respect to income levels, poverty rates, and employment rates. A possible explanation, according to the report, may lie in features of the local economy in Napa Valley—particularly the increasingly skilled nature of work in vineyards and wineries—which may have increased Latino immigrants’ productivity and wages. However, these immigrants' relatively low levels of educational attainment and English proficiency pose a challenge for workforce development.

The authors estimate that immigrants’ contributions to the Napa County economy amount to up to 15 percent of the county GDP in 2009, ranging from $317 million to $1.07 billion. The report also offers that state and local expenditures on immigrant households are generally proportional to their share of the county population, except in the area of public education, where costs were higher. However, the cost of public schooling seems to reflect the rapidly increasing population of U.S.-born children of immigrants alongside shrinking numbers of children with nonimmigrant parents. The authors identify the education and integration of these young people as a key area of challenge and opportunity for Napa County’s future productivity and prosperity as the native population ages.

Read the Executive Summary here.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Methods

III. Findings

A. Napa County’s Immigration in Regional Context

B. Immigration and Demographic Change in Napa County

C. Origins and Legal Status of Napa County’s Immigrants

D. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage

E. Geographic Concentration, Housing Burdens, and Housing Hardship

F. Immigrants in the Workforce and Economy

G. Economic Contributions of Immigrants to the Napa Valley Economy

H. Fiscal Costs and Contributions of Immigrants

IV. Conclusions