E.g., 09/23/2023
E.g., 09/23/2023
Profile of the Unauthorized Population - County Data (6037)

Profile of the Unauthorized Population:
Los Angeles County, CA

DemographicsEstimate% of Total
Unauthorized Population 951,000 100%
Top Countries of Birth
Mexico 501,000 53%
El Salvador 112,000 12%
Guatemala 108,00011%
Philippines 48,000 5%
China/Hong Kong 42,000 4%
Regions of Birth
Mexico and Central America 754,000 79%
Caribbean- -
South America 19,000 2%
Europe/Canada/Oceania 21,000 2%
Asia 151,000 16%
Africa 6,000 1%
Years of U.S. Residence
Less than 5 135,000 14%
5 to 9 115,000 12%
10 to 14 168,000 18%
15 to 19 206,000 22%
20 or more 326,000 34%
Under 16 36,000 4%
16 to 24 110,000 12%
25 to 34 233,000 24%
35 to 44 264,000 28%
45 to 54 198,000 21%
55 and over 110,000 12%
Female 449,000 47%
FamilyEstimate% of Total
Parental Status
Population ages 15 and older 920,000 100%
Reside with at least one U.S.-citizen child under 18 280,000 30%
Reside with noncitizen children only under 18 71,000 8%
Reside with no children 569,000 62%
Marital Status
Population ages 15 and older 920,000 100%
Never married 395,000 43%
Married to a U.S. citizen 95,000 10%
Married to a legal permanent resident (LPR) 52,000 6%
Married to non-U.S. citizen/non-LPR 234,000 25%
Divorced, separated, widowed 144,000 16%
Education and LanguageEstimate% of Total
School Enrollment of Children and Youth
Population ages 3 to 17 45,000 100%
Enrolled 40,000 90%
Not enrolled 5,000 10%
Population ages 3 to 12 21,000100%
Enrolled 18,000 86%
Not enrolled 3,000 14%
Population ages 13 to 17 24,000 100%
Enrolled 23,000 93%
Not enrolled- -
Population ages 18 to 24 98,000 100%
Enrolled 44,000 45%
Not enrolled 54,000 55%
Educational Attainment of Adults
Population ages 25 and older 805,000 100%
0-5 grade 143,000 18%
6-8 grade 147,000 18%
9-12 grade 136,000 17%
High school diploma or equivalent 180,000 22%
Some college or associate’s degree 92,000 11%
Bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree 107,00013%
English Proficiency
Population ages 5 and older 945,000 100%
Speak only English 40,000 4%
Speak English "very well" 213,000 23%
Speak English "well" 201,000 21%
Speak English "not well"/"not at all" 491,000 52%
Top 5 Languages Spoken at Home
Population ages 5 and older 945,000 100%
Spanish 747,000 79%
Chinese 42,000 4%
Tagalog 41,000 4%
English 40,000 4%
Korean 28,000 3%
WorkforceEstimate% of Total
Labor Force Participation
Civilian population ages 16 and older 915,000 100%
Employed 601,000 66%
Unemployed 42,000 5%
Not in the labor force 272,000 30%
Top Industries of Employment
Civilian employed population ages 16 and older 601,000 100%
Construction 94,000 16%
Accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation 93,000 15%
Manufacturing 87,000 14%
Professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services 76,000 13%
Other services (except public administration) 61,000 10%
EconomicsEstimate% of Total
Family Income
Below 50% of the poverty level 102,000 11%
50-99% of the poverty level 149,000 16%
100-149% of the poverty level 168,000 18%
150-199% of the poverty level 151,000 16%
At or above 200% of the poverty level 382,000 40%
Access to Health Insurance
Uninsured 407,000 43%
Home Ownership*
Homeowner 159,000 17%


Source: These 2019 data result from Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data from the pooled 2015-19 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), weighted to 2019 unauthorized immigrant population estimates provided by Jennifer Van Hook of The Pennsylvania State University.

Note: For U.S. and state estimates of the unauthorized population potentially eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, click here.

Data-related notes
* “Homeowners” are unauthorized immigrants residing in homes that are owned, not rented.

+ Includes the following Colorado counties: Adams, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, and Jefferson, as well as portions of Arapahoe, Boulder, and Weld counties.

++ NECTAs refer to New England City and Town Areas, geographic entities defined by the U.S. Census Bureau for use as alternatives to counties in the six-state New England region.

Estimate for China includes Hong Kong but excludes Taiwan; estimate for Korea includes South Korea and North Korea.

“School Enrollment of Children and Youth” refers to unauthorized immigrants who reported attending school or college at any time in the three months prior to the survey.

For languages, “Chinese” includes Mandarin, Cantonese, and other Chinese languages; “English” includes English, Jamaican Creole, Krio, Pidgin Krio, and other English-based Creole languages; “French” includes French, Patois, and Cajun; “Pacific Island languages” includes Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, Sebuano, Chamorro, Guamanian, Marshallese, Trukese, Tongan, and other Austronesian languages, but excludes Tagalog and Filipino, which are reported separately; “Portuguese” includes Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole; “Sub-Saharan African” includes Swahili or other Bantu languages, Mande, Fulani, Kru, and other unspecified African languages; “Tagalog” includes Tagalog and Filipino.

For industries, “Other services” are miscellaneous services, not including the following services listed separately: (1) professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services; (2) educational services; (3) health and social services; and (4) accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation.

 “-” estimates are zero, not applicable, or not displayed due to small sample size.

Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Methodology in Brief:
MPI’s method uses information from the SIPP to assign legal status to noncitizens in the ACS. In the SIPP, noncitizens report whether they currently have lawful permanent resident (LPR) status—i.e., a green card. Those without LPR status may be recent refugees, temporary visitors (e.g., international students or high-skilled H-1B workers), or unauthorized immigrants. Our method maps characteristics such as country of birth, year of U.S. entry, age, gender, and educational attainment between the two surveys, and those noncitizens in the ACS who have characteristics similar to those reporting LPR status in the SIPP are coded as LPRs in the ACS. The remaining noncitizens—who are similar in characteristics to those not reporting LPR status in the SIPP—are classified as either unauthorized or legal temporary migrants, depending on whether they meet the qualifications for H-1B and the other temporary visa classifications. Estimates of unauthorized immigrants are weighted to match control totals (benchmarks) for immigrants from a set of origin countries and world regions. These control totals are calculated by subtracting the number of legal immigrants from the total of all immigrants for each country and region that are captured in the ACS data. The number of legal immigrants is estimated by adding up all legal admissions from each country and region in every year—using Department of Homeland Security administrative data—and then reducing this number to account for deaths and emigration of legal immigrants. Finally, the unauthorized immigrant population estimates are adjusted upward slightly to account for the undercount of this population in the ACS. 

MPI’s overall method was developed in consultation with James Bachmeier of Temple University and Jennifer Van Hook of The Pennsylvania State University, Population Research Institute. For more detail on the methods, see MPI, “MPI Methodology for Assigning Legal Status to Noncitizen Respondents in U.S. Census Bureau Survey Data.” The control totals were developed by Van Hook. These estimates have the same sampling and coverage errors as any other survey-based estimates that rely on ACS and other Census Bureau data.