E.g., 08/22/2014
E.g., 08/22/2014

Country Resource - United States

United States

US
  • 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

Many governments use shortage lists to either facilitate or discourage economically-motivated immigration into particular occupations or fields, but the practice of doing so raises a variety of practical and philosophical questions. MPI's Madeleine Sumption discusses the challenges of maintaining shortage lists and developing immigration policies around them.

In this month's policy beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the Secure Border Initiative Network, the status of the USCIS Transformation project, and more.

Over the past two decades, the settlement patterns of immigrants in the United States have changed as an increasing number of the foreign born are choosing to make states in the southern and middle regions of the country their home. MPI's Aaron Terrazas profiles the immigrants in these "new-destination" states and compares them to the rest of the foreign-born population.

Destination countries of unaccompanied child migrants struggle with many questions related to why children migrate, how they should be received and processed, and whether they should be protected, integrated, or returned to their home countries. Amanda Levinson of ThirdSpace Consulting provides the context within which unaccompanied child migration occurs, and analyzes the policy response of the United States and European destination countries.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the rise in state-level action on immigration enforcement, the resuming deportations of Haitians, Mexico's inclusion in the Global Entry trusted traveler program, and more.

Los Estados Unidos es hogar para aproximadamente 2.9 millones de inmigrantes provenientes de los países centroamericanos Belice, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, y Panamá. La migración de Centroamérica ha crecido rápidamente en las recientes décadas, pero más de dos de cada cinco inmigrantes centroamericanos carecen de estatus migratorio legal mientras que alrededor de uno en diez residen en los Estados Unidos bajo la protección temporal humanitaria.

The 2.9 million Central American immigrants living in the United States were more likely than both the native born and the foreign-born population overall to be of working age and to be participating in the U.S. labor force. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines the population's size, geographic distribution, and demographic characteristics.

As an update to this month's Policy Beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the DREAM Act's failure in the Senate.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Kristen McCabe report on the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the House, Supreme Court oral arguments on the Legal Arizona Workers Act, the record number of diversity visa applicants, and more.

Interested in information on annual naturalization trends, illegal immigration, the geographical distribution of immigrants in the United States, current and historical shares, and a host of other topics?
MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Aaron Terrazas have assembled the latest, most interesting data on immigrants and immigration into one easy-to-use resource.

Pages

Reports
September 2010

Despite conventional wisdom that the U.S. immigrant workforce is shaped like an hourglass—wide at the top and the bottom but narrow in the middle— in reality immigrants are more evenly dispersed across the skills spectrum. This report shows that the fastest growth in immigrant employment since 2000 has occurred in middle-skilled jobs.

Reports
July 2011

The United States has historically offered unparalleled economic opportunity to successive generations of immigrants and their children, poised to play an increasing role in the U.S. economy. But the lasting impact of job loss and slower growth over the next decade will translate into fewer opportunities for workers—and immigrants may prove the most vulnerable.

Reports
January 2013

This report examines trends in manufacturing – with a focus on advanced manufacturing – in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the United States. Although these countries’ manufacturing histories and contexts are different, the sectors are increasingly interdependent, and the sector potentially holds great promise for improving individual livelihoods and overall regional competitiveness.

Reports
March 2014

This report analyzes the educational experiences and outcomes of immigrant youth ages 16 to 26 across Georgia's education systems, encompassing K-12, adult, and postsecondary. By examining these interconnected systems together, the analysis offers linked strategies for advancing the educational attainment of Georgia’s immigrant youth.

Reports
August 2011

This report reviews the history of immigration legislation since 9/11, the new enforcement mandates that arose immediately afterward, and the unsuccessful efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform bills during the 109th and 110th Congresses.

Reports
September 2006

This report examines post-9/11 immigration enforcement practices in the United States through the lens of international human rights. It identifies gaps in the protection of noncitizens’ civil rights under U.S. constitutional law, and then evaluates whether post-9/11 U.S. immigration control measures have complied with obligations under international human rights law with respect to due process protections and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin or race.

Reports
June 2009

The discussion guide offers a brief demographic and statistical profile of the immigrant student population in the United States, with comparison points drawn to Germany, sketches the broad policy implications of the demographic data, and provides a set of policy and practice issues in immigrant education and integration to facilitate a Roundtable inquiry in two areas: early childhood care and education, and secondary education.

Reports
October 2010

Immigrants have been disproportionately hit by the global economic crisis that began in 2008 and now confront a number of challenges. The report, which has a particular focus on Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and United States finds that the unemployment gap between immigrant and native workers has widened in many places.

Reports
August 2011

Migration to the United States from Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) has accelerated in the last four decades. This increase has been driven by economic opportunities and facilitated by social networks of friends and family already in the United States.

Reports
February 2013

This report assesses trends in U.S., Central American, and Mexican agriculture and their implications for farm labor markets, including the demand for skills and its effects on education and workforce development. 

Pages