E.g., 06/17/2022
E.g., 06/17/2022
Country Resource - United States

United States

US
  • Population....................................................................... 334,998,398 (July 2021 est.)
  • Population growth rate .................................................................. 0.7% (2021 est.)
  • Birth rate.................................................... 12.33 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Death rate.................................................. 8.35 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Net migration rate.................................. 3.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*......................... White 72.4%, Black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.9%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 est.)

* A separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the United States who may be of any race or ethnic group (White, Black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total U.S. population is Hispanic as of 2010

Source: CIA World Factbook

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Recent Activity

Instructors teach an African dance class in Miami.

The population of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States is relatively small, but it has grown substantially over the last four decades and is likely to continue to increase. This group of 2.1 million people is highly diverse, including individuals with a range of ethnic, linguistic, and other backgrounds, as this article explains.

U.S. immigration officials walk by a courthouse in Seattle.

New Biden administration guidelines encourage immigration prosecutors to support dismissing many low-priority deportation cases and focus on criminals, threats to national security, and other priorities. This move could have a major impact on clearing backlogs in the overstretched U.S. immigration court system, resulting in quicker determinations in removal and asylum cases, where wait times can presently stretch for years.

A teacher leads a lesson on the Korean alphabet in a U.S. dual-language immersion class

Immigrants from the Korean peninsula are one of the ten largest foreign-born groups in the United States, but their numbers have actually shrunk in recent years. Immigrants from Korea tend to be older, better educated, and earn higher incomes than the overall immigrant and native-born populations.

A woman in Italy is vaccinated before travel in 1951.

Requirements that international travelers and migrants prove vaccination against certain diseases are about as old as vaccines themselves. In some cases, vaccine certificates predated the existence of government-issued passports. This article explores the history of these requirements, which began with smallpox and have since been applied for diseases including cholera, polio, yellow fever, and, recently, COVID-19.

U.S. Border Patrol agents prepare to transport unauthorized migrants to Mexico under Title 42.

The United States’ controversial Title 42 migrant expulsions policy will come to an end in May 2022, after more than 1.7 million expulsions over two years. The COVID-19-era public-health restriction ushered in an unprecedented period of mass expulsions, including of would-be asylum seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Unwinding the policy will be complicated amid predictions of a significant increase in unauthorized migration.

A word cloud showing terminology used to refer to people crossing borders.

What’s in a name? Terms used to refer to people crossing international borders are frequently debated and often evolve, amid efforts to shape the narrative and changing political realities. This article explores the history and evolving use of terms such as "migrant," "refugee," "illegal immigrant," "unauthorized immigrant," and more.

An image of an immigration boarding line.

Need information about U.S. immigration trends or the makeup of the country's immigrant population? This useful, stats-rich article answers the most common questions about the size, shape, and changing nature of the U.S. foreign-born population. It also offers data on immigration enforcement actions, backlogs, and other elements of the U.S. immigration system.

A construction crew works on a wall the U.S.-Mexico border.

The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.

A pile of documents on a desk.

President Joe Biden has made efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, but could see his administration's agenda slowed by massive backlogs across the immigration system. Case application wait times and immigration court queues have swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing legal arrivals to the United States and undermining the entire immigration system.

A couple celebrating carnival at home.

South Americans make up a relatively small share of all U.S. immigrants. But their numbers have been growing in recent years and flows are diversifying, particularly with new arrivals from Venezuela. This article offers key statistics on the South American immigrant population in the United States.

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Report cover, From Fear to Solidarity: The Difficulty in Shifting Public Narratives about Refugees
Reports
May 2022

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Cover image for English Learner Testing during the Pandemic
Reports
May 2022

In addition to upending daily life in the classroom, the pandemic has affected how states administer annual assessments to their students—disrupting a key means of collecting data on new or growing learning gaps that demand attention. This report explores how states have approached testing English Learners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what 2020-21 assessment data can and cannot tell us.

cover image for Destination-Country Policies to Foster Diaspora Engagement in Development
Reports
April 2022

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Cover image for Migration from Huehuetenango in Guatemala’s Western Highlands
Reports
March 2022

Since the early 2010s, unauthorized migration from Guatemala to the United States has risen dramatically. Huehuetenango, a department in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, is among the top sources of this emigration. This study examines the patterns and drivers of emigration from Huehuetenango, as well as potential strategies to address push factors and create alternatives to irregular migration.

Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022

Desde principios de la década de 2010, la migración irregular de Guatemala a Estados Unidos ha aumentado drásticamente. Huehuetenango, un departamento en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala, se encuentra entre las principales fuentes de esta emigración. Este estudio examina los patrones y factores impulsores de la emigración de Huehuetenango, así como las posibles estrategias para abordar factores de empuje y creación de alternativas a la migración irregular.

Cover image for The Central Role of Cooperation in Australia’s Immigration Enforcement Strateg
Reports
March 2022

Cooperation with other countries has become a central part of Australian border enforcement. Partnerships with countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Nauru, and Papua New Guinea have helped Australia curb irregular maritime migration, but also come at significant costs. This report explores the current and future role of cooperation in Australian immigration enforcement policy.

Cover image for Four Years of Profound Change: Immigration Policy during the Trump Presidency
Reports
February 2022

The Trump administration set an unprecedented pace for executive action on immigration, reshaping many aspects of the U.S. immigration system through changes large and small. This report chronicles the 472 administrative changes enacted during this four-year period—ranging from COVID-19 response measures and immigration enforcement, to humanitarian protection, travel bans, legal immigration and DACA changes, and more.

Cover image for The Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) Program: Understanding Its Design and Challenges in Meeting Immigrant Learners’ Needs
Reports
February 2022

U.S. adult education systems have undergone significant changes, including to programs supporting immigrant integration. The creation of the Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) program has sparked the development of innovative initiatives, but also raised concerns about their accessibility and ability to meet immigrant adults’ diverse learning goals and needs.

Cover image for Advancing Digital Equity among Immigrant-Origin Youth
Reports
February 2022

Since the pandemic began, technology has become an even more central part of Americans’ lives. Yet access to digital devices, the internet, and digital skills training has long been uneven. For many teenagers in immigrant families, including those who are English Learners, this digital divide has made remote learning challenging. This study identifies promising practices for increasing digital access and literacy among immigrant-origin youth.

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Cover image for the parent's guide on English Learner assessments
Fact Sheets
February 2022

Parental and community engagement with schools is an important part of ensuring students’ educational success. To support English Learners’ families as they engage with their local schools, this question-and-answer document and glossary of key terms aim to help parents answer common questions, including why these students take tests and how schools use the test data.

Cover image for the Spanish-language parent's guide on English Learner assessments
Fact Sheets
February 2022

La interacción de padres y miembros de la comunidad con los sistemas escolares de sus hijos es fundamental para asegurar su éxito académico. Para apoyar a las familias de estudiantes de inglés (EL, por sus siglas en inglés) mientras interactúan con escuelas locales, esta guía y glosario de términos clave contesta preguntas comunes, como por ejemplo por qué estos estudiantes toman exámenes anuales y cómo las escuelas utilizan los datos que resultan de tales exámenes.

Immigrant and U.S.-Born Parents of Young and Elementary-School-Age Children in the United States: Key Sociodemographic Characteristics
Fact Sheets
April 2021

Parents play an important role in supporting their children’s education, but certain factors—such as limited English proficiency, low levels of formal education, and digital access barriers—can make it difficult to do so. This fact sheet series looks at the characteristics of immigrant and U.S.-born parents of young and elementary-school-age children in 31 states and nationwide, and discusses how taking a two-generation approach to services can benefit entire families.

Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States: Stable Numbers, Changing Origins
Fact Sheets
December 2020

After decades of growth, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained largely stable since the 2008–09 recession. The group's demographics are changing, though, with a shrinking number of Mexicans and rising Asian and Central American arrivals. This fact sheet presents a profile of these 11 million individuals, including top origin countries; U.S. destinations; and age, education, job, income, home ownership, English proficiency, and other characteristics.

Cover for COVID fact sheet on unemployment of immigrant women in U.S.
Fact Sheets
November 2020

Working-age immigrant women in the United States entered the COVID-19-induced recession with unemployment rates similar to those of other groups. Yet they have been among the most affected by pandemic-related job losses. This fact sheet seeks to explain why they have been hit so hard by the coronavirus-induced recession.

 

coverthumb_io students factsheet
Fact Sheets
October 2020

Immigrants and the children of immigrants make up a large and growing segment of students at U.S. colleges and universities—up from 20 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2018. This fact sheet offers a first-of-its-kind profile of this population’s size and growth, identifies the top states for these students, and explores characteristics such as race/ethnicity and immigration status.

Stethoscope sitting on a medical textbook
Fact Sheets
July 2020

Across the United States, the skills of an estimated 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health-related degrees are going underutilized during a time of pandemic, with these health professionals either in low-skilled jobs or out of work. This fact sheet offers the first-ever state profiles of this population, including the states in which they live, the languages they speak, their fields of study, and legal statuses.

COVID-19 and Unemployment: Assessing the Early Fallout for Immigrants and Other U.S. Workers
Fact Sheets
June 2020

Even as the pandemic-induced loss of tens of millions of jobs over a period of weeks dealt a devastating blow across the United States, its effects were most pronounced on certain demographic groups: Immigrant women and, regardless whether they were born in or outside the United States, Latinos and workers with less than a high school degree or under age 25.

Coverthumb_UninsuredNoncitizens FS
Fact Sheets
May 2020

As millions of U.S. workers lose jobs and the health insurance associated with them, Medicaid and similar programs are increasingly important for people seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment. Yet many low-income uninsured noncitizens, including green-card holders, are excluded from such programs because of their immigration status, as this fact sheet explores.

coverthumb COVID 19 EssentialWorkers FS
Fact Sheets
March 2020

Six million immigrant workers are at the frontlines of keeping U.S. residents healthy and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic, representing disproportionate shares of physicians, home health aides, and retail-store pharmacists, for example. They also are over-represented in sectors most immediately devastated by mass layoffs, yet many will have limited access to safety-net systems and to federal relief, as this fact sheet details.

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Cover image for Building Trust with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Work
Policy Briefs
May 2022

Building trust between service providers and immigrant and refugee families can be challenging, but it is also a key component of programs that successfully serve these families. This brief explores two-generation program strategies for creating trusting relationships, including hiring culturally competent staff and creating welcoming and safe spaces, and discusses the policy implications.

Cover image for Better Responses to Differing Immigration Statuses: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Work
Policy Briefs
May 2022

What status immigrants hold affects their access to U.S. public benefits and services. This brief examines approaches that two-generation programs are using to service immigrant families with a variety of statuses, including mixed-status families.

Cover image for Growing Language Skills with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting
Policy Briefs
May 2022

Language barriers can hinder immigrant families’ access to services and make it challenging for immigrant parents to find family-sustaining jobs and actively participate in their children’s education. This brief explores approaches service providers are using to make their offerings more culturally and linguistically responsive, and to support language learning among children and their parents.

Cover image Cultural Competency Secrets to Success with Immigrant and Refugee Families
Policy Briefs
May 2022

As the United States becomes more diverse, changes in the cultural makeup of communities can challenge longstanding practices in human services delivery. This brief explores strategies service providers can employ to build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of the communities they serve, leading to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families.

Cover image for Leveraging the Skills of Immigrant Health-Care Professionals in Illinois and Chicago
Policy Briefs
April 2022

Immigrants play important roles across the U.S. health-care workforce, but not all of those with in-demand health and medical degrees are able to put their skills to work. Addressing this skill underutilization, or “brain waste,” has only become more important during the pandemic. This brief examines the extent of skill underutilization among immigrants with health degrees in Illinois, a state with a long history of immigration, and efforts to better leverage these skills.

Cover image for The Invisible Work of Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers and Its Importance for Immigrant and Dual Language Learner Families
Policy Briefs
December 2021

Child care provided informally by relatives, friends, and neighbors is the most common form of U.S. child care, and it is particularly prevalent among immigrant and Dual Language Learner families. Yet it is frequently overlooked in child-care policy conversations. This brief explores the importance of this type of care and highlights promising practices for increasing support for care providers and the families they serve.

Cover image for Investing in Alternatives to Irregular Migration from Central America: Options to Expand U.S. Employment Pathways
Policy Briefs
November 2021

There is increasing recognition that the United States, Mexico, and migrant-origin countries in Central America will need to work together to address the large-scale, irregular movement of people through the region. While it is critical to improve humanitarian protection for those in need, expanding legal opportunities to take up employment abroad is another part of this equation, as this policy brief explores.

Cover image for Invertir en alternativas a la migración irregular desde Centroamérica: Opciones para expandir las vías de empleo en Estados Unidos
Policy Briefs
November 2021

Es cada vez más claro que Estados Unidos, México y los países de origen de migrantes en Centroamérica tendrán que trabajar juntos para abordar el gran movimiento irregular de personas a través de la región. Este informe propone que además de mejorar la protección humanitaria para quienes la necesitan, ampliar las oportunidades legales para acceder a un empleo en el extranjero es otra parte de la ecuación.

Cover image for Medicaid Access and Participation: A Data Profile of Eligible and Ineligible Immigrant Adults
Policy Briefs
October 2021

Medicaid has seen a surge in enrollment since the pandemic began, as millions of U.S. workers lost jobs and health coverage. But many noncitizens are ineligible for Medicaid due to their status as recent recipients of green cards, international students, or temporary workers, for example. This issue brief examines the size and characteristics of this population, including state-to-state differences in eligibility and participation.

Cover image for Migration Management and Border Security: Lessons Learned
Policy Briefs
September 2021

What strategic lessons can be learned from the migration- and border-management challenges North America and Europe have faced in recent years? This reflection by a former high-ranking homeland security official explores a range of timely issues, including the need to rethink multilateralism and improve international cooperation, address migrant smuggling, and engage in advanced planning to avoid future crises.

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vanishing_frontiers_cover
Books
June 2018

Wall or no wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships mean the U.S.-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier, weaving together two economies and cultures, as MPI President Andrew Selee sketches in this book, which draws from his travels and discussions with people from all walks of life in Mexico and the United States.

cover Yevgeny
Books
July 2013

This edited volume develops a pragmatic approach to the engagement of highly skilled members of the diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin. The book, edited by a World Bank senior economist, is based on empirical work in middle-income and high-income economies.

MPI Cover ImmigrantsChangingLaborMarket
Books
March 2013

This volume, which brings together research by leading economists and labor market specialists, examines the role immigrants play in the U.S. workforce, how they fare in good and bad economic times, and the effects they have on native-born workers and the labor sectors in which they are engaged. The book traces the powerful economic forces at play in today’s globalized world and includes policy prescriptions for making the American immigration system more responsive to labor market needs.

Cover CBI bookstore
Books
December 2012

This interdisciplinary volume examines the health, well-being, school readiness, and academic achievement of children in Black immigrant families (most with parents from Africa and the Caribbean)—a population that has had little academic attention even as it represents an increasing share of the U.S. Black child population.

cover WefareBook
Books
September 2011

This edited volume rigorously assesses the 1996 U.S. welfare reform law, questions whether its immigrant provisions were ever really necessary, and examines its impact on legal immigrants’ ability to integrate into American society.

featured_migrationandrecession[1]
Books
June 2011

This edited volume addresses the impact of the economic crisis in seven major immigrant-receiving countries: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 

Book cover SHM large for vi
Books
April 2010

This volume, by a former senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, argues that the U.S. approach to immigration and border security is off-kilter and not keeping pace with the scope and complexity of people’s movement around the world, nor with expectations regarding freedom of movement.

cover publicopinion
Books
January 2010

The book focuses on three case studies: the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The volume includes chapters analyzing public opinion and media coverage of immigration issues in each country. Additional chapters propose strategies for unblocking opposition to thoughtful, effective immigration-related reforms.

cover_securingfuture[1]
Books
February 2007

Securing the Future seeks to define what policymakers and scholars mean by integration while attempting to sketch the contours of U.S. integration policy. The volume reviews evidence of immigrants’ integration by examining the progress of the second generation, as well as trends in education, health, the workforce, and citizenship.

cover book The_United_States_Refugee_Admissions_Program
Books
May 2005

Over the past four years, the United States has resettled far fewer refugees than it did in the 1990s. The decline has stemmed partly from post-9/11 security measures. But this book explains other, deeper reasons, deriving from changes in how and why refugees move, how asylum states receive them, and the world community's response. It also suggests steps to restore the program and better address real refugee needs.