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.
The size of the Iranian born population in the United States has more than doubled since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979. MPI’s Shirin Hakimzadeh and David Dixon provide background and statistics.
The majority of South American born counted in the 2000 census were from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. MPI's David Dixon and Julia Gelatt look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.
Over half of all Central American foreign born in the United States are from El Salvador and Guatemala. MPI's Megan Davy examines the numbers as well as events and policies that have shaped Central American migration.
The Asian born accounted for more than a quarter of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's David Dixon looks at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Eastern, Southeastern South Central and Western Asia.