Age Distribution of Immigrants to U.S., 1870-Present

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Age Distribution of Immigrants to U.S., 1870-Present

This bar chart represents the age distribution and median age of the immigrant population in the United States by decade.

Notes: 

The native-born population's age distribution in 2011 was as follows: 21.9 percent were under 15, 64.8 percent were between 15 and 64, and 13.3 percent were 65 or older. In censuses of 1880, 1890, and 1910 to 1940, published census data on the age and sex distribution of the immigrant population were limited primarily to the foreign-born white population. During this period, the foreign-born population of races other than white, which peaked at 220,744 in 1930, represented between 1 percent and 2 percent of the total foreign-born population. Because age data for the total foreign-born population are available for 1870, 1900, and 1950 to 1990, and because the foreign-born population of races other than white represented such a small proportion of the total foreign-born population from 1880 to 1940, the population universe for this table is the total foreign-born population. The foreign-born population of races other than white is included in the category "age data not available" for 1880, 1890, and 1910 to 1940.

Source: 

Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey and 1970, 1990, and 2000 Census decennial data accessed from Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010. All other data are from Campbell J. Gibson and Emily Lennon, U.S. Census Bureau, Working Paper No. 29, Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850 to 1990, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. 1999.