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.
In 2005, the United States admitted almost 54,000 refugees for resettlement and granted asylum to more than 25,000 people. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at refugee and asylum statistics in the United States.
The Caribbean born accounted for almost 10 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's Julia Gelatt and David Dixon look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.
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.