Immigrant Share of the U.S. Population and Civilian Labor Force


Immigrant Share of the U.S. Population and Civilian Labor Force

Immigrants tend to be in the labor force at rates higher than the U.S. population, as most who enter the United States are of working age. This line chart displays the immigrant share of the U.S. civilian labor force and immigrant share of the total population. Use the click-down menu on the bottom right to select a state.


The term "immigrants" (or "foreign born") refers to people residing in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., persons on student or work visas), those admitted under refugee or asylee status, and persons illegally residing in the United States. The civilian labor force includes all civilian persons age 16 and older who were either employed or unemployed in the week prior to participation in the American Community Survey or Decennial Census.


Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. All estimates are based on 2012 American Community Survey data except for states with smaller immigrant populations. For Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia, pooled 2009-2011 ACS data were used. For North Dakota and Wyoming, pooled 2007-2011 data were used. The remaining data are 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.