E.g., 11/28/2015
E.g., 11/28/2015

Country Resource - United States

United States

  • Population.....................................................................318,892,103 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate ..............................................................0.77% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate....................................................13.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate...................................................8.15 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate................................2.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*..........white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)
* Note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Immigration has contributed to many of the economic, social, and political processes that are foundational to the United States as a nation since the first newcomers arrived over 400 years ago. After brushes with immigration reform that began in 2001 and continued in 2006 and 2007, the United States seems to be on the threshold of overhauling the legal immigration system in the most substantive way since 1965. This article provides a comprehensive overview of major legislation and events affecting U.S. immigration throughout history, legal and illegal immigration flows, postrecession immigration trends, and more.

Recent Activity

This article dissects the current patchwork of overlapping and potentially conflicting authorities for immigration enforcement and policymaking in the United States, based on unique, country-wide surveys and city case studies.
Immigration and international development policy conversations have become entangled in the U.S. context, not necessarily to the benefit of either debate. This article explores how a contemporary understanding and decoupling of the issues can contribute to more effective policymaking.
In 2011, the United States granted humanitarian protection to nearly 81,000 immigrants, including some 56,000 refugees and 25,000 asylum seekers. This article takes a detailed look at the most recent refugee and asylum data in the United States – finding that asylum grants in 2011 reversed a downward trend observed since 2007.
MPI's Claire Bergeron and Faye Hipsman report on Democratic and Republican party platforms and their takes on immigration, new rules rendering DACA beneficiaries ineligible for Medicaid and CHIP, CBP's elimination of paper I-94 cards, and more.
Tax liability for income earned overseas by Americans has been part of the U.S. tax system since the federal income tax was first introduced in 1861. Since 2009, the United States has witnessed a rise in citizenship renunciation, especially among the affluent. Some see this as a barometer of the waning appeal of U.S. citizenship, which has been and remains an aspirational goal for many around the world. However, it seems as though legislative and regulatory factors may be the more likely triggers for this new trend.
This article examines the underlying reasons for the interrupted school enrollment of Latino immigrant young adults in the United States who are colloquially referred to as dropouts and perhaps more precisely should be defined as pushouts, shutouts, or holdouts. A study reveals wide-ranging reasons for the interruption in their schooling, both before migration and after, and provides relevant data for educational policy and programming.
Notwithstanding the opportunities for qualified unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as youth offered through the newly implemented deferred action program, the policy's success still faces implementation and other challenges. Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman examine the issues that remain unaddressed in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In the past 50 years, the number and share of European immigrants in the United States have declined significantly. A look at the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
Though little recognized as such, the Workforce Investment Act represents one of the most important immigrant integration initiatives in the United States, assisting workers in obtaining the necessary training and language skills to advance in the workforce. Despite a steady increase of immigrants in need of these services, a decreasing share are able to access the programs to keep pace with a changing labor market.
There were 1.8 million immigrant health care workers employed in the United States in 2010, accounting for 16 percent of all civilians working in health care occupations. MPI's Kristen McCabe examines the demographic and labor characteristics of this population, including countries of origin, occupations, gender, and educational and linguistic proficiency.


June 2014
This report identifies the unique needs of immigrant parents as they try to engage with early childhood education and care programs. Parent engagement is a critical component of kindergarten readiness, but many immigrant parents face formidable barriers to participation. The report explores federal and local efforts for immigrant parents of young children and offers recommendations for better meeting their needs.
August 2015
This report profiles the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, examining population growth trends over time by country or region of origin as well as geographic distribution by state and top county destinations. (See related interactive map here.) The report also assesses eligibility and application rates for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, analyzing differences in application rates by national origin.
March 2004

This report examines the transfer of immigration functions from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service to the newly established Department of Homeland Security and offers an analysis of the Department’s progress in its first year of existence toward accomplishing the two purposes for which it was created: (1) to ensure that immigration regulation and control enhances national security; and (2) to improve the performance of both the service and enforcement sides of the immigration system by allocating their respective functions to separate units within DHS. 

March 2007

This report provides a demographic profile of adolescent limited English proficient students in the United States, examines how these students are faring on standardized tests, and breaks down the assessment data further for a comparison of 6th to 8th grade LEP students California, Colorado, Illinois, and North Carolina.

July 2009

In order to rectify the shortcomings of a rigid and outdated U.S. visa system set in place by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), this report recommends creating a new visa stream called provisional visas which would sync visa policies with the way in which labor markets work in practice, and bridge temporary and permanent employment-based admissions to the United States in a predictable and transparent way.

January 2011

This report provides an overview of several commonly used translation and interpretation technologies. It aims to assist language access practitioners in understanding and identifying which systems would best meet their agency’s language access needs.

March 2012

Texas has the second-largest number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in the nation. Using a unique longitudinal data set that tracks ELL and non-ELL students in Texas from first grade through high school, this report examines the trajectories and performance of individual groups.

April 2013

This report examines migration flows from Mexico to the U.S. since the 1990s and highlights key economic factors linked to migration trends. These findings are analyzed to forecast Mexican migration flows.

June 2014
This report examines the experiences and outcomes of immigrant youth across California’s educational institutions. Tracing the effects of education budget cuts that hit this population particularly hard, the report offers recommendations as new funding priorities and education reforms are being implemented. With one-fourth of all immigrants and one-third of English Language Learner students in the U.S., California's performance holds national implications.
September 2015

This report examines the effects of personal discrimination as experienced by the children of immigrants, particularly in school settings. Research clearly and consistently shows that the majority of of children of immigrants perceive discrimination, which can have broad psychological, physical, academic, and social consequences for immigrant children.