E.g., 11/27/2014
E.g., 11/27/2014

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

Nearly 620,000 immigrants — one-third from Mexico, India, the Philippines, and China — became U.S. citizens in 2010. MPI's Anne Nielsen and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at the latest naturalization trends in the United States.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the recent Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the ongoing controversy surrounding states' participation in Secure Communities, the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals, and more.

Immigrants from Asia accounted for about 28 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2009. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the NSEERS program, legal challenges to the new Utah laws, the continued controversy surrounding Secure Communities, and more.

The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" were originally created for administrative purposes by the U.S. government, but have since come to define a population of 50.5 million people who trace their origins to 20 different countries. Rubén Rumbaut examines the origin and administrative use of the Hispanic-Latino category, and the effect it has had on the identities of people placed into it.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 9th Circuit Court ruling on SB 1070, current trends in immigration legislation at the state level, President Obama's recent comments on executive action and immigration reform, and more.

Immigrants from the Caribbean accounted for about 9 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2009. MPI's Kristen McCabe examines the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Lang Hoyt report on the Secure Communities program, a new State Department initiative allowing the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats to apply for J-1 visas, additional funding for immigration agencies in the proposed 2012 Homeland Security budget, and more.

Immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa are more likely than the overall foreign-born population to be proficient in English, to have a college degree, and to be naturalized U.S. citizens. MPI's Aaron Terrazas uses the latest federal data to explore the population's size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

In the post-9/11 era, U.S. policymakers have increasingly used migration policy tools to strengthen national security. This piece highlights civil rights and liberties issues that point to the need to re-envision the relationship between security and mobility, and discusses a proposal to "secure human mobility."

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Reports
October 2004

The 1990s marked a distinct shift in the destinations of newcomers to the United States from traditional reception cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston and increasingly towards small and medium sized-cities. In response to this shift, a unique pilot project conducted in three mid-sized metropolitan areas shows that broad-based community coalitions can proactively integrate newcomers who are increasingly transforming Main St., USA.

Reports
December 2007

This report provides a framework for assessing the legal validity of state legislative measures that address unauthorized immigration. To determine their validity, authors seek to establish whether Congress has preempted the law, and if not, whether these local laws exceed the bounds of constitutional authority by conflicting or interfering with existing federal regulatory regimes.

Reports
October 2009

This report analyzes 2008 census data, presents statistics about immigrant populations and their health coverage, and discusses these numbers in the context of health care reform proposals that directly affect immigrants and the overall U.S. population.

Reports
March 2011

In the absence of new U.S. immigration reform legislation, this report examines the opportunities that exist within the executive branch and the administration to refine and strengthen current U.S. immigration laws and policies. The administration can exercise its authority to field policies, programs, and procedures that are effective and fair in advancing the goals of the U.S. immigration system. 

Reports
April 2012

African immigrants generally fare well on integration indicators, with college completion rates that greatly exceed those for most other immigrant groups and U.S. natives, this report finds. The United States, Canada, and Australia disproportionally attract better-educated African migrants then do the United Kingdom, France, and other European countries.

Reports
January 2004

During the 1990s, NAFTA was promoted by both U.S. and Mexican officials as a means to spur economic growth and job creation in Mexico and thereby reduce the number of unauthorized migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico each year. This report takes a critical look at NAFTA’s impact on regulating migration from Mexico to the United States.

Reports
September 2014

Large immigration flows challenge destination cities to find innovative ways to meet the needs of immigrant residents and promote their integration. This report examines the successful integration strategies of five U.S. cities—Cupertino and San Francisco, CA; Littleton, CO; New York City; and Seattle—and offers lessons for local governments looking to implement their own initiatives.

Reports
November 2004

This report investigates and addresses gaps in the data needs of immigrant service and advocacy organizations by surveying the most commonly used migration data sources in the field, discussing budget-conscious ways to commission customized analysis through government and private sources, and identifying good providers of training for staff. 

Reports
April 2008

This report examines the large presence of unauthorized and mixed-status families, and the growing size of the second generation and its concerns within Los Angeles County and in California, drawing comparisons to broader national demographic trends and rationales for immigrant integration.

Reports
October 2009

U.S. media coverage of immigration has hindered effective policy reform for years, a trend which has been exacerbated by the recent transformation in the ways Americans get their news. This has conditioned and even distorted public perceptions by portraying a largely gradual, orderly, and legal phenomenon as chaotic, criminal, and controversial.

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