The Venezuelan immigrant population in the United claims has more than tripled in size because the rotate of the century, and also much that this expansion has developed in simply a few years, as Venezuela’s economic and political destabilization has led to a massive exodus across the Americas and beyond. The populace of Venezuelan immigrants in the united States has actually risen 54 percent due to the fact that 2015, when it stood at 256,000. By 2018, this populace had grown come 394,000, making it the fifth-largest south American immigrant populace in the united States.

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With its huge oil reserves, Venezuela has both benefited and suffered native fluctuations in the petroleum market. In the early 2000s, president Hugo Chávez redistributed lot of the country’s oil wealth towards social welfare programs because that the negative while likewise nationalizing personal businesses, which contributed to the disruption of the national economy and decline in private investments. Following Chávez’s death in 2013, Nicolás Maduro mostly maintained his predecessor’s approach to financial policy. Since then, Venezuelans have experienced a sharp decrease in financial fortunes, sky-high inflation, climbing corruption, and also political persecution—a constellation of problems that has actually pushed around 5.1 million Venezuelans out, most in the last couple of years. The majority have relocated within Latin America, with Colombia, Peru, and also Chile receiving the most Venezuelan refugees and also migrants. Smaller sized numbers have migrated to nations outside the region, greatly to the joined States and Spain.

Until recently, the number of Venezuelans in the United says was relatively small compared to immigrants from various other South American countries. Because that instance, the 107,000 Venezuelans who resided in the United says in 2000 were roughly equal to one-fifth the variety of immigrants from Colombia (509,000)—the largest source of south American immigrants to the united States. In 2018, by comparison, there were about half as many Venezuelans (394,000) together Colombians (790,000) in the unified States, making lock the fifth-largest immigrant team from southern America, after ~ those from Colombia, Brazil (473,000), Peru (467,000), and Ecuador (443,000).

Figure 1. Venezuelan Immigrant population in the unified States, 1980-2018


Sources: Data native U.S. Census office 2010 and 2018 American neighborhood Surveys (ACS), and 1980, 1990, and 2000 Decennial Census.

The top destination an international for Venezuelan refugees and also migrants is Colombia, accounting for around 36 percent the the 5.1 million Venezuelans living exterior of Venezuela, according to April 2020 estimates published by the local Inter-Agency Coordination Platform because that Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela – an answer for Venezuelans (R4V). Other common destination countries have substantially smaller shares of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, consisting of Peru (with 17 percent), Chile (9 percent), and the United states (7 percent).


The U.S. Census Bureau specifies the foreign born as individuals who had actually no U.S. Citizenship at birth. The foreign-born populace includes nature citizens, lawful irreversible residents, refugees and asylees, legit nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or other temporary visas), and also persons resident in the country without authorization.

The terms foreign born and also immigrant are supplied interchangeably and also refer come those who were born in an additional country and later emigrated come the unified States.

In comparison to the full foreign-born population in the united States, Venezuelan migrants have greater educational attainment and also are an ext likely to obtain green cards as instant relatives the U.S. Citizens or v employment channels. However, they are also an ext likely to live in poor families and lack health and wellness insurance.

Using data native the U.S. Census bureau (the many recent 2018 American ar Survey and pooled 2014–18 ACS data), the room of countryside Security’s Yearbook of immigration Statistics, and World Bank annual remittance data, this Spotlight offers information on the Venezuelan immigrant populace in the joined States, concentrating on the size, geographic distribution, and also socioeconomic characteristics.

Click ~ above the bullet points listed below for much more information:

Distribution by State and crucial Cities

More than half of Venezuelan immigrants in the United says reside in Florida (53 percent). The following largest location state, Texas, accounts for one more 12 percent. The top four counties by concentration in the 2014–18 period were Miami-Dade, FL; Broward, FL; Orange County, FL; and also Harris County, TX. Together, these 4 counties accounted for almost half (45 percent) of Venezuelan immigrant in the country.

Figure 2. Top location States because that Venezuelan immigrant in the unified States, 2014–18


Note: Pooled 2014-18 ACS data were offered to get statistically valid estimates at the state level for smaller-population geographies. Because that details, visit the Migration policy Institute (MPI) Data Hub because that an interactive map showing the geographic distribution of immigrants by state and also county, available online.Source: MPI tabulation the data indigenous the U.S. Census bureau pooled 2014-18 ACS.

As the 2014–18, the greater Miami, Orlando, and Houston metropolitan locations were home to 53 percent that Venezuelan immigrants. Another 7 percent that Venezuelans lived in the greater new York metropolitan area, and also 3 percent live in better Tampa.

Figure 3. Top Metropolitan areas of Residence because that Venezuelan immigrant in the united States, 2014–18


Note: Pooled 2014-18 ACS data were offered to get statistically valid estimates at the city statistical-area level because that smaller-population geographies. Because that details, visit the MPI Data Hub because that an interaction map showing the geographic circulation of immigrants by city area, available online.Source: MPI tabulation of data native the U.S. Census bureau pooled 2014-18 ACS.

Even in U.S. Metropolitan locations with larger Venezuelan populations—including Miami, Orlando, and also Houston—these immigrants make up reasonably small shares of the as whole metro area population, much less than 2 percent as of 2014–18.


Click here because that an interaction map the highlights the metropolitan locations with the greatest concentrations that immigrants. Select Venezuela indigenous the dropdown menu.

English Proficiency

Venezuelan immigrants are much less likely to be skilled in English and also speak English at residence than the overall U.S. Foreign-born population. In 2018, around 49 percent of Venezuelan immigrants eras 5 and over reported limited English proficiency, compared to 47 percent the the total foreign-born population. Roughly 6 percent that Venezuelan immigrant spoke only English at home, compared to 17 percent of all immigrants.

Note: minimal English proficiency refers to those who suggested on the ACS questionnaire the they spoke English less than “very well.”

Age, Education, and Employment

The median age of Venezuelan immigrant was 38 years as of 2018, slightly older 보다 the U.S.-born populace (36 years). Both groups were younger than the as whole foreign-born population (45 years). Venezuelan immigrants—like immigrant overall—were an ext likely than the indigenous born to it is in of working age (18 to 64; see figure 4).

Figure 4. Age circulation of the U.S. Populace by Origin, 2018


Note: Numbers might not add up to 100 as they space rounded to the nearest whole number.Source: MPI tabulation of data indigenous the U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 ACS.

Compared to foreign- and also U.S.-born adults (ages 25 and older), Venezuelan immigrant adults have actually considerably greater levels the education, especially in regards to four-year university degrees. In 2018, much more than half of Venezuelan immigrants hosted at the very least a bachelor’s level (57 percent), significantly higher than every foreign-born and also U.S.-born adult (32 percent and also 33 percent, respectively). Venezuelan immigrant were also an ext likely to have actually a graduate or professional degree than the various other two groups (21 percent, matches 14 percent for every immigrants and 12 percent for the U.S. Born). Only 6 percent the Venezuelan immigrants lacked a high school diploma, contrasted to 27 percent of every immigrant adults.

Venezuelan immigrants take part in the U.S. Labor pressure at a much greater rate than the in its entirety immigrant and native-born populations. In 2018, 73 percent that Venezuelan immigrants ages 16 and older were in the civilian labor force, compared to 66 percent of all immigrants and also 62 percent the the aboriginal born. Thirty-seven percent Venezuelan immigrant were employed in management, business, science, and also arts occupations—their top employment field—followed by 22 percent in sales and office occupations.

Figure 5. Employed employees in the Civilian Labor pressure (ages 16 and also older) through Occupation and Origin, 2018


Income and Poverty

In 2018, Venezuelan immigrants had a median family members income that $56,000. This was lower than that of the in its entirety foreign- and native-born populations: $60,000 and $62,000, respectively.

Venezuelan immigrants were more likely come live in families with revenue levels listed below the official poverty threshold (19 percent), compared to all immigrants (15 percent) and the U.S. Born (13 percent).

Immigration Pathways and Naturalization

In 2018, 34 percent of Venezuelan immigrant in the United claims were nature U.S. Citizens, a share much lower than among the complete foreign-born population (51 percent).

Compared to all immigrants, plenty of Venezuelans involved the joined States reasonably recently. Fifty-seven percent the Venezuelan immigrants arrived in 2010 or later, a share twice that of post-2010 arrivals among all immigrants (23 percent). Another 20 percent of Venezuelans arrived between 2000 and 2009, and also 23 percent prior to 2000 (see figure 6).

Figure 6. Immigrant from Venezuela and All immigrants in the United claims by period of Arrival, 2018


Note: Numbers may not add up come 100 together they are rounded to the nearest whole number.Source: MPI tabulation that data indigenous the U.S. Census bureau 2018 ACS.

In FY 2018, approximately 11,700 (1 percent) that the virtually 1.1 million new lawful permanent residents (LPRs, additionally known together green-card holders) to be from Venezuela. Much more than half of Venezuelan immigrants that received eco-friendly cards the year did so as immediate relatives that U.S. Citizens (54 percent), while brand-new LPRs as whole were less likely to receive eco-friendly cards with this channel (44 percent; see figure 7). The 2nd most common immigration pathway for Venezuelans to be employment-based preferences (21 percent), which likewise accounted for a larger share of new Venezuelan LPRs 보다 of all brand-new LPRs (13 percent).

Figure 7. Immigrant Pathways of Venezuelan Immigrants and also All immigrants in the united States, 2018


Notes: Family-sponsored: includes adult children and also siblings of U.S. Citizens and spouses and also children of green-card holders. Immediate family members of U.S. Citizens: contains spouses, boy children, and parents of U.S. Citizens. Diversity: The immigrant Act of 1990 developed the Diversity Visa Lottery to enable entry to immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the joined States. The regulation states the 55,000 diversity visas in full are made available each fiscal year.Source: MPI tabulation of data from room of Homeland defense (DHS) Office of immigration Statistics, 2018 Yearbook of immigrant Statistics (Washington, DC: DHS, 2019), available online.

Although most Venezuelan immigrant in the United claims are legitimate present, approximately 50,000 were unauthorized in 2016, follow to Migration plan Institute (MPI) estimates, comprising less than fifty percent of 1 percent of the 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the unified States.

The Deferred action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) program provides temporary relief native deportation and also work authorization to unauthorized immigrants who came to the United says as children and also who satisfy program requirements. As of September 30, 2019, Venezuelans made up 2,150 of the approximately 653,000 DACA recipients.

Health Coverage

Venezuelan immigrant are much more likely to have actually private health insurance 보다 the as whole foreign-born population, and less likely to be spanned by public health insurance programs than both every immigrants and also the native born (see number 8). Together of 2018, Venezuelans were also much more likely to it is in uninsured (25 percent), compared to the in its entirety immigrant population (20 percent) and also the native born (7 percent).

Figure 8. Health and wellness Coverage because that Venezuelan Immigrants, every Immigrants, and also the aboriginal Born, 2018


Note: The amount of share by kind of insurance is most likely to be greater than 100 since people may have more than one form of insurance.Source: MPI tabulation of data native the U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 ACS.


The Venezuelan diaspora in the United claims is comprised of around 587,000 people who were either born in Venezuela or reported Venezuelan ancestry or spain origin, according to MPI tabulations of 2018 ACS data.


Global remittances to Venezuela have gone with two durations of far-reaching growth. The first turning point was in between 2002 and 2003, when annual remittance inflows jumped indigenous $19 million to $208 million. After ~ a drop come $143 million in 2004, yearly remittances remained fairly level for around a decade till they started to climb steadily again after ~ 2013, pushed in huge part through rapidly increasing economic and also political instability in the country under the Maduro presidency and also rising emigration. In 2019, Venezuela’s remittance inflow got to $289 million, a document high. Remittances represented less than 0.5 percent the Venezuela’s gross residential product (GDP) in 2019.

Figure 9. Annual Remittance flows to Venezuela, 1990 come 2019


Source: MPI tabulations the data native the human being Bank, “Annual Remittances Data,” updated October 2019, available online.

Visit the Data Hub’s arsenal of interactive remittances tools, which track remittances by inflow and also outflow, between countries, and over time.



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Noe-Bustamante, Luis, Antonio Flores, and also Sono Shah. 2019. Truth on hispanics of Venezuelan beginning in the joined States, 2017. Pew research Center, spain Trends, September 16, 2019. Available online.

Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform because that Refugees and Migrants native Venezuela – response for Venezuelans (R4V). 2020. Venezuelan Refugees & Migrants in the Region. Update April 2020. Available online.

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U.S. Room of State. 2020. Visa Bulletin because that January 2020. Updated January 2020. Available online.

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World Bank. 2019. Yearly Remittances Data. Updated October 2019. Available online.