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 U.S. federal government has spread immigration-related responsibilities among six agencies. MPI’s Megan Davy, Deborah Meyers, and Jeanne Batalova explain which agencies handle such tasks as assisting refugees, issuing visas, and handling interior enforcement.
According to the 2000 census, more than 150,000 foreign born lived in the counties affected by Hurricane Katrina. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign-born population in the areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The European born are more likely to be proficient in English, work in higher-level occupations, and have higher earnings than the overall foreign-born population. MPI's David Dixon examines the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Europe.