The United States has been the top destination for international migrants since at least 1960, with one-fifth of the world’s migrants living there as of 2017. The majority of present Americans have forgotten where they originally came from. Often they consider that they are the original inhabitants and rightful owners of that country.
Despite its long history of immigration, the United States has oscillated between perceiving immigration as a valuable resource and as a major challenge. The last two years we can see how the Alt-Right and other right-wing parties with the many Neo-Nazis have encouraged the present president to take care that their nation can be safeguarded to be a white Christian world. Many North Americans wanted to see an end to the influx of other people in ‘their nation’. Significant actions on immigration taken by the Trump administration have further raised the issue in political and public debates.
The Migration Policy Institute’s online journal, the Migration Information Source, today published its annual compilation of some of the most frequently sought-after statistics on immigration and immigrants in the United States. Using authoritative data sources, the article offers a look at the country’s nearly 44 million immigrants, and situates immigration trends in both the present day and historically.
With immigration a top focus of current political and public debate in Washington and around the country, it is essential for policymakers, journalists and the general public to have accurate data to help inform their understanding of this complex issue. The article offers data that illuminates some of the key issues being debated currently, including family-based immigration, unauthorized immigrants (including the subset known as DREAMers), the Diversity Visa Program, refugee resettlement and immigration enforcement.
This accessible, one-stop-shop resource, Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States, showcases data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and State, MPI and other authoritative sources. It also points users to related interactive maps, charts and data tools that can be found on MPI’s Migration Data Hub, allowing users to customize their queries at U.S., state and in some cases metro-area levels.
The article answers questions such as: How has the immigrant population in the United States changed over time? How many immigrants enter annually and through which channels? Where do refugees and asylum seekers come from? How educated are recent arrivals? How many people participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and in which states do they live?
Among the findings:
- India and China were the leading countries of origin for new immigrants in 2016, followed by Mexico, Cuba and the Philippines.
- While 30 percent of adult immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree, educational attainment is much higher among recent arrivals, with 47 percent of those entering between 2012 and 2016 having a college education.
- Of all immigrant workers employed in 2016, the largest share—almost 32 percent—worked in management, professional and related occupations.
- The uninsured rate for immigrants fell from 32 percent to 20 percent with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
- Even as their immigrant populations remain small in absolute numbers, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Delaware experienced the fastest rate of growth between 2000 and 2016.
The article is available in the Migration Information Source, which provides fresh analysis and accessible data from top researchers on U.S. and international migration trends. Click here to sign up for the twice-monthly Source newsletter and get word of monthly features on U.S. immigration policy developments, data-rich profiles of major U.S. immigrant populations and smart writing on other timely and interesting migration developments around the world.
Click on the bullet points for more information on each topic:
- Current and Historical Numbers and Shares
- Demographic, Educational, and Linguistic Characteristics
- Immigrant Population Change Over Time: Top States
- Mexican Immigrants
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Workforce Characteristics
- Children with Immigrant Parents
- Permanent Immigration
- Temporary Visas
- Refugees and Asylum Seekers
- Unauthorized Immigrants
- Immigration Enforcement
- Naturalization Trends
- Visa Backlogs