More than 40 million people living in the United States—whether as naturalized citizen, legal permanent resident, temporary resident, or unauthorized immigrant—were born in another country, representing 13 percent of the U.S. population. Immigration to the United States has ebbed and flowed throughout history, peaking at nearly 15 percent of the population in 1890 and plummeting to 5 percent in 1970. The data-rich research offered here traces the U.S. immigrant population by size, educational and workforce characteristics, English language proficiency, and more.
Immigration to the United States continued steadily from the 1970s until the recent recession, which also diminished a sense of urgency to enact immigration reform legislation. MPI's Kristen McCabe and Doris Meissner provide a comprehensive look at major legislation and events affecting U.S. immigration, the size and attributes of the immigrant population, and policy changes under the Obama administration.
The 535,000 Haitian immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 1.4 percent of all U.S. immigrants and the fourth-largest immigrant group from the Caribbean. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Haitian-born unauthorized population.
The 1.1 million Salvadoran immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 2.9 percent of all U.S. immigrants, making them the second-largest immigrant group from Latin America. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Salvadoran-born unauthorized population.
The 18.9 million immigrant women in the United States in 2008 made up 12 percent of all women in the country. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines which countries they come from, their labor force participation, and their socioeconomic status.