Research provides immigrants snapshot of America

New research carried out by the Pew Research centre reveals that America is home to more immigrants than any other country in the world.

The research shows that more than 40 million people living in the United States were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants in 2015.

The US foreign-born population reached a record 43.2 million in 2015. Since 1965, when US immigration laws replaced a national quota system, the number of immigrants living in the US has more than quadrupled. Immigrants today account for 13.4 per cent of the US population, nearly triple the share (4.7 per cent) in 1970. However, today’s immigrant share remains below the record 14.8 per cent share in 1890, when 9.2 million overseas nationals lived in the States.

Despite what some headlines may have you believe, the majority of immigrants (76 per cent) are in the country legally, while only a quarter are unauthorised. In 2015, 44 per cent were naturalized US citizens. Some 27 per cent of immigrants were permanent residents and 5 per cent were temporary residents.

Mexico is the top origin country of the US immigrant population. In 2015, 11.6 million of the foreign nationals living in the US were from there, accounting for 27 per cent of all immigrants. The next largest origin groups were those from China (6 per cent), India (6 per cent), the Philippines (5 per cent) and El Salvador (3 per cent).

By region of birth, immigrants from South and East Asia combined accounted for 27 per cent of all immigrants, a share equal to that of Mexico. Other regions make up smaller shares: Europe/Canada (14 per cent), the Caribbean (10 per cent), Central America (8 per cent), South America (7 per cent), the Middle East (4 per cent) and sub-Saharan Africa (4 per cent).

Roughly half (46 per cent) of America’s 43.2 million foreign-born population live in just three states: California (25 per cent), Texas (11 per cent) and New York (10 per cent).

California had the largest immigrant population of any state in 2015, at 10.7 million. Texas and New York had about 4.5 million immigrants each.

Article published 4th May 2017