Immigrants tide flags at a citizens ceremony in Winston-Salem, phibìc Carolina. (Photo: Old Salem Inc.)

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Threaded transparent the history of the joined States, immigration has taken on greater prominence in political and also policy conversations amid dispute over possible reforms come the immigration system, border and national security, and also the U.S. Duty in resettling refugees at a time that record worldwide displacement. Questions around the current and also historical pace of immigration, the duty of immigrants in the labor market, illegal immigration, humanitarian admission policies, and also enforcement techniques are frequently raised.

Informed windy discussion and also evidence-based policymaking require accurate, authoritative, and unbiased information. This Spotlight article offers in one accessible source the most current data available about immigrants in the united States, who numbered 43.3 million human being in 2015. By compiling some of the most generally requested facts and also figures ~ above U.S. Immigration, this write-up provides answers to questions such as: just how many civilization immigrated come the United says last year? How many entered together refugees, and from which countries? Is Mexico still the top nation of origin for U.S.-bound immigrants? has the number of unauthorized immigrants readjusted in recent years? What work do immigrants often tend to hold in the U.S. Labor market? and how countless U.S. Citizens are either immigrants or kids of immigrants?

The short article draws on resources from the Migration plan Institute (MPI); the U.S. Census Bureau"s 2015 American community Survey (ACS), 2016 Current populace Survey (CPS), and also 2000 decennial census; the U.S. Department of Homeland security (DHS) and State; and Mexico"s National populace Council (CONAPO) and also National institute of Statistics and also Geography (INEGI).

Click ~ above the bullet points for more information on every topic:

Current and also Historical Numbers and also Shares

How numerous immigrants reside in the unified States?

The U.S. Immigrant population stood at much more than 43.3 million, or 13.5 percent, the the complete U.S. Populace of 321.4 million in 2015, follow to American ar Survey (ACS) data. Between 2014 and also 2015, the foreign-born population increased by 899,000, or 2.1 percent, a slower development rate compared to 2.5 percent in between 2013 and 2014.

According to the 2016 Current population Survey (CPS), immigrants and also their U.S.-born kids now number roughly 84.3 million people, or 27 percent of the in its entirety U.S. Population.

Check out the U.S. Immigrant population and Share end Time, 1850-Present device in MPI’s Data Hub to view fluctuations end time.

How many human being immigrated come the United claims last year?

In 2015, 1.38 million foreign-born people moved to the joined States, a 2 percent increase from 1.36 million in 2014. India was the leading nation of beginning for recent immigrants, v 179,800 showing up in 2015, complied with by 143,200 native China, 139,400 native Mexico, 47,500 native the Philippines, and also 46,800 indigenous Canada. In 2013, India and also China overtook Mexico together the height origin nations for current arrivals.

While many of these brand-new arrivals room immigrants new to the country, some room naturalized citizens, lawful long-term residents, and others who can have stayed in the United says for some time prior to returning in 2015.

Note: The Census Bureau specifies recent immigrants together foreign-born individuals who resided abroad one year before the survey, including naturalized citizens, lawful long-term residents, and others who might have resided in the United states for some time prior to 2015; and temporary nonimmigrants and also unauthorized immigrants.

What are the historical numbers and shares of immigrants in the unified States?


"Foreign born" and also "immigrant" are supplied interchangeably and refer come persons with no U.S. Citizenship at birth. This populace includes nature citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and also asylees, people on particular temporary visas, and the unauthorized.

Geographical regions: MPI follows the definition of Latin America as put forth by the unified Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau, i m sorry spans central America (including Mexico), the Caribbean, and also South America. For much more information around geographical regions, check out the U.S. Census Bureau and United nations Statistics Division.

Data top top the nativity the the U.S. Population were very first collected in 1850. That year, there to be 2.2 million immigrant in the joined States, representing practically 10 percent the the population.

Between 1860 and also 1920, the immigrant share of the overall population fluctuated between 13 percent and nearly 15 percent, peaking at 14.8 percent in 1890, mainly as result of high levels of immigrant from Europe.

Restrictive immigration regulation in 1921 and 1924, coupled with the great Depression and also World war II, led to a sharp drop in brand-new arrivals. As a result, the foreign-born share stability declined in between the 1930s and also 1970s, getting to a record low of around 5 percent in 1970 (9.6 million; check out Table 1). Since 1970, the re-superstructure and variety of immigrants have increased rapidly, mainly as a result of large immigration native Latin America and Asia made feasible by the abolishment that national-origin join quotas by congress in 1965. Due to the fact that 1970, the variety of U.S. Immigrants much more than quadrupled, climbing from 9.6 million climate to 43.3 million in 2015.

Table 1. Number Size and also Share that the Foreign-Born populace in the joined States, 1970-2015


Source: Migration plan Institute (MPI) tabulation that data native the U.S. Census Bureau"s 2010 and 2015 American ar Surveys (ACS), and 1970-2000 decennial Census.

How perform today’s top resource countries to compare to those 50 years ago?

In 2015, mexicans accounted for about 27 percent of immigrants in the unified States, making castle by far the largest foreign-born group in the country. India to be the next largest country of origin, v close to 6 percent of all immigrants, adhered to by China (including Hong Kong however not Taiwan) and also the Philippines, at close come 5 percent each. El Salvador, Vietnam, and also Cuba (about 3 percent each), and the Dominican Republic, Korea, and Guatemala (2 percent each), rounded the end the peak ten. Together, immigrants from this ten nations represented 58 percent that the U.S. Immigrant populace in 2015.

The advantage of Latin American and Asian immigration in the so late 20th and also early 21st centuries starkly contrasts v the tendency in 1960 as soon as immigrants greatly originated from Europe. In the 1960s no single country accounted for an ext than 15 percent that the total immigrant population. Italians to be the height immigrant-origin group, making up 13 percent the the foreign-born populace in 1960, adhered to by Germans and also Canadians (about 10 percent each).

To learn much more about certain immigrant populations, inspect out our Spotlight archive, which contains data-rich articles on Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, southern American, European, African, Asian, and also other immigrants.

To view the top ten resource countries by decade from 1960 come 2015, inspect out the Largest U.S. Immigrant teams over Time, 1960-Present interactive tool.

To see immigration trends from individual countries over time, use this MPI Data Hub tool. 


Use this maps to watch the geographic distribution of immigrant groups by country or an ar of beginning at state and metropolitan-area levels.

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Demographic, Educational, and also Linguistic Characteristics

Note: In some situations percentages execute not add up come 100 as result of rounding.


College-educated persons are characterized as adult 25 years and also older through a bachelor"s level or higher. The principle of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects the race or races with which individuals most carefully self-identify. Gyeongju categories incorporate both racial and also national-origin groups. Hispanic and Latino are ethnic, not racial, categories. They include individuals that classified us in among the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories detailed on the Census 2000 questionnaire—"Mexican, mexican Am., Chicano," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban"—as well together those who show that they are "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." Persons who shown that they space "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" encompass those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of central or southern America, the Dominican Republic, or civilization who self-identify much more generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and also so on.Read much more about Census office definitions here.

What is the sex composition that the U.S. Immigrant population?

In 2015, approximately 51 percent of immigrants were female. The share has fluctuated slightly throughout the previous three decades; females accounted because that 53 percent of immigrants in 1980, 51 percent in 1990, and 50 percent in 2000.

What is the age distribution of the immigrant population?

Overall, the immigrant populace in 2015 was older 보다 the U.S.-born population: The median age of immigrant was 43.9 years, contrasted to 36 years for the indigenous born.

In 2015, fewer 보다 1 percent of immigrant were under age 5 (compared come 7 percent because that the native born), about 5 percent were ages 5 to 17 (compared come 19 percent), 80 percent were periods 18 come 64 (compared come 60 percent), and also 15 percent were ages 65 and also older (the same as the U.S. Born).

How many immigrants have gotten in the unified States because 2010?

Sixteen percent of the 43.3 million immigrants in the United says in 2015 entered because 2010, 28 percent between 2000 and also 2009, and the majority (57 percent) prior to 2000 (due to rounding, these carry out not add to 100).

How countless immigrants room naturalized U.S. Citizens?

In 2015, about 48 percent of immigrant (20.7 million) were naturalized U.S. Citizens. The staying 52 percent (22.6 million) had lawful irreversible residents, not authorised immigrants, and also legal occupants on short-lived visas (such together students and temporary workers).

Of the 21 million naturalized citizens, 22 percent naturalized since 2010, 33 percent between 2000 and also 2009, and 45 percent prior to 2000.

What is the racial composition the the immigrant population?

Forty-seven percent of immigrant in 2015 reported their race as White, 27 percent together Asian, 9 percent as Black, and 15 percent together some various other race; around 2 percent reported having two or much more races.

How countless immigrants space of hispanic origin?

In 2015, 45 percent of immigrant (19.5 million people) reported having actually Hispanic or Latino origins.

How plenty of Hispanics in the United states are immigrants?

The majority of U.S. Hispanics are native born. Of the 56.6 million world in 2015 who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino, 35 percent (19.5 million) were immigrants.

Which languages are most frequently talked at home in U.S. Households?

In 2015, about 79 percent (236.9 million) the the 301.6 million people ages periods 5 and older in the U.S. Population reported speaking just English at home.

The staying 21 percent (64.7 million) reported speaking a language other than English at home. Spanish to be by much the most typical language (62 percent), complied with by Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese, 5 percent), Tagalog (almost 3 percent), Vietnamese (2 percent), French (including Cajun and Patois, 2 percent), Arabic (2 percent), and also Korean (2 percent), and German, Russian, and French creole (about 1 percent each).

What is the dimension of the restricted English knowledgeable population?

In 2015, there were 25.9 million restricted English experienced (LEP) individuals periods 5 and older, representing 9 percent that the 301.6 million U.S. Residents periods 5 and also older. Spanish speaker accounted because that 64 percent (16.4 million) the the LEP population. The next two languages many commonly spoken by LEP individuals were Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese, 1.8 million, or 7 percent) and Vietnamese (867,000, or 3 percent).

Note: The hatchet "Limited English Proficient" refers to persons eras 5 and older that reported speak English "not at all," "not well," or "well" top top their inspection questionnaire. Individuals who reported speaking “only English” or speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

What portion of immigrants space LEP?

In 2015, about 49 percent (21.2 million) of the 43 million immigrants ages 5 and older were LEP.

What percentage of the adult foreign-born populace is university educated?

In 2015, 29 percent (11.1 million) of the 37.7 million immigrants eras 25 and also older had a bachelor"s level or higher, compared to 31 percent of native-born adults. Notably, the re-superstructure of college-educated immigrant was lot higher—48 percent—among those who entered the country between 2011 and 2015. At the other end of the education spectrum, 29 percent of immigrants lacked a high institution diploma or basic Educational breakthrough (GED) certificate, compared to 9 percent of your U.S.-born counterparts.

Immigrant population Change end Time: top States

What to be the top 5 states in terms of the number of immigrants, share of immigrants in the total state population, absolute growth, and percent expansion between 1990 and also 2000 and also between 2000 and 2015?

In 2015, the top five U.S. Claims by number of immigrants were California (10.7 million), Texas (4.7 million), brand-new York (4.5 million), Florida (4.1 million), and brand-new Jersey (close to 2 million).

When classified by the share that immigrants out that the total state population, the top five states in 2015 to be California (27 percent), new York (23 percent), new Jersey (22 percent), Florida (20 percent), and also Nevada (19 percent).

Between 1990 and 2000, the 5 states v the largest absolute growth of the immigrant populace were California (2.4 million), Texas (1.4 million), brand-new York (1 million), Florida (1 million), and Illinois (577,000).

Between 2000 and also 2015, the 5 states v the largest pure growth of the immigrant population were California and Texas (1.8 million each), Florida (1.4 million), brand-new York (662,000), and new Jersey (501,000).

Between 1990 and 2000, the five states v the largest percent growth* that the immigrant populace were phibìc Carolina (274 percent), Georgia (233 percent), Nevada (202 percent), Arkansas (196 percent), and also Utah (171 percent).

Between 2000 and 2015, the 5 states through the largest percent growth* of the immigrant population were north Dakota (137 percent), Tennessee (109 percent), southern Dakota (106 percent), southern Carolina (101 percent), and also Wyoming (96 percent).

*Note: In some states, the early stage foreign-born populace was rather small. Thus, reasonably small absolute increases in the immigrant populace in these states have translated right into high percent growth.

For much more information ~ above the peak states the residence because that the international born, see the interactive tool, Immigrant populace by State, 1990-Present.

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Mexican Immigrants

How many Mexican immigrants space in the unified States?

Approximately 11.6 million mexican immigrants resided in the United states in 2015, according to the ACS, bookkeeping for 27 percent of all U.S. Immigrants and also down native the peak of 29.5 percent in 2000.

See how the number and also share of mexican immigrants has actually evolved since 1850.


In i m sorry U.S. States carry out Mexican immigrants live?

Mexican immigrants space primarily focused in the West and Southwest, and much more than half live in California or Texas. In 2015, the top 5 states of residence because that Mexican immigrant were California (37 percent of all Mexican immigrants), Texas (22 percent), Illinois (6 percent), Arizona (4 percent), and Florida (2 percent).

Use this interaction map to discover the top states and also counties whereby individual immigrant populations reside.

Use this interaction map to discover the top metropolitan areas wherein individual immigrant populations reside.

In 2015, Mexican immigrant accounted for much more than half of the foreign-born populace in brand-new Mexico (71 percent), Arizona (57 percent), and Texas (55 percent). Through contrast, mexican accounted for much less than 2 percent of all immigrant in Rhode Island (1.8 percent), Massachusetts (1.5 percent), and new Hampshire (1.2 percent).

How many Mexican-born workers space in the U.S. Labor force?

About 69 percent of the 11.2 million immigrants from Mexico periods 16 and also older to be in the civilian labor force in 2015. This represents a slightly greater labor force participation than for the in its entirety foreign-born populace ages 16 and older (66 percent that 41.4 million) and also the native-born population ages 16 and older (62 percent the 214.8 million).

How has actually the emigration price from Mexico changed over time?

According to Mexico"s national Survey the Occupations and Employment (Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo, or ENOE), the emigration rate from Mexico (refers come emigrants leaving Mexico regardless of their destination, although many head to the united States) has remained steadily short in recent years, after enduring a drop adhering to the 2007-09 U.S. Recession. Indigenous 2008 to 2012, the emigration price dropped native 6.4 migrants per 1,000 residents to 3.3 migrants. It ticked up slightly in 2015 come 3.6 migrants every 1,000 residents.

The immigration rate to Mexico (overwhelmingly made up of return migrants) has likewise dropped, native 4.4 migrants every 1,000 citizens in 2008 to 1.4 per 1,000 in 2015.

Note: ENOE asks Mexican family members to enumerate any members that the family members who are living abroad at the moment of the interview. Accordingly, it does not capture the emigration of whole families whereby no member of the household remains in Mexico.

Which areas/regions do many Mexican migrants come from?

According come the survey of hike on the north Border the Mexico* (Encuesta de Migración en la Frontera Norte de México, or EMIF), the variety of immigrants moving from Mexico come the unified States reduced steadily in between 2007 and 2015 despite an uptick in 2013. EMIF estimated that 96,000 immigrants crossed the country"s northern border in 2014—just percent of the 323,000 level tape-recorded in 2013.

In 2015, traditional sending says such together Guanajuato, Chiapas, and also Michoacán accounted because that the largest shares that the 96,000 migrants who headed towards the united States, collectively representing 27 percent that northward flows. Between 2009 and 2015, some claims in northern and main Mexico witnessed a decrease in complete outflows, while others experienced boosted emigration. The most far-reaching drop was videotaped in the state that Coahuila (northern Mexico, bordering Texas): between 2009 and 2015, migrants native Coahuila declined from 8 percent come 2 percent that the complete outflow indigenous Mexico. Throughout the same period, migrants indigenous Chihuahua (northern Mexico, bordering Texas) prospered in re-superstructure by twelvefold, from 0.5 percent come 6 percent that the complete outflow, and also Chiapas (western Mexico) an ext than quadrupled its share (from 2 percent come 9 percent).

For an all at once map of flows by mexican state over time, visit MPI’s data tool, Origins of mexican Migrants to the United claims by mexico State that Residence, Number, and also Share, 2004-2014.

*Note: EMIF is an yearly sample inspection of migration flows along Mexico"s north border region conducted through the to adjust of international Affairs (SRE), Secretariat that Labor and also Social Welfare (STPS), national Migration academy (INM), National population Council (CONAPO), and College that the northern Border (COLEF) in Tijuana. The inspection excludes mexicans entering the United claims by air, migrants under the age of 15, and also non-Mexican nationals crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The classification "migrants headed toward the united States" is minimal to those migrants who space traveling come the United claims or a mexico border city, are eras 15 and also older, were no born in the joined States, and do not have an immediate return itinerary. The 2015 data are preliminary.

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Health insurance Coverage

What re-publishing of U.S. Immigrants have actually health insurance?

In 2015, approximately 55 percent of immigrant in the united States had actually private health insurance (compared come 69 percent of the U.S. Born) and 29 percent had actually public health insurance coverage (compared to 36 percent the the aboriginal born). Much less than one-quarter (22 percent) to be uninsured, compared to 7 percent that the U.S. Born.

Note: health and wellness insurance coverage is calculated only for the civilian, noninstitutionalized population. Due to the fact that some world may simultaneously hold both private and public health and wellness insurance coverage, approximates of those v public wellness insurance and also those v public coverage may overlap. Their sum because of this may be better than the total number of people with wellness insurance.

See more: How Many Acres Does It Take To Raise A Cow, How Many Acres Does It Take To Run A Beef Cow

How has actually coverage readjusted for immigrant in the united States since enactment of the Affordable care Act (ACA)?

Since ACA implementation in 2014, wellness insurance coverage has actually improved because that both immigrants and also the U.S. Born. From 2013 come 2015, the immigrant uninsured rate fell from 32 percent come 22 percent, and also the rate for the native born dropped from 12 percent come 7 percent. The advancement in coverage is connected to rises in both exclusive coverage (from 50 percent come 55 percent that immigrants) and also public coverage (from 24 percent come 29 percent of immigrants). Amongst the international born, noncitizens proficient a greater drop in the uninsured rate (from 46 percent come 35 percent) 보다 naturalized citizens (from 16 percent to 8 percent).

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Workforce Characteristics

What is the foreign-born re-superstructure of the complete U.S. Civilian labor force?