U.S. Immigrant Population Change by Decade, 1860-2010


U.S. Immigrant Population Change by Decade, 1860-2010

This chart displays changes in the immigrant population of the United States each decade, beginning in 1860. The net change is determined by increases resulting from new immigration and decreases resulting from immigrant mortality (e.g. old age) or emigration. The chart also displays changes for the decade beginning in 2006.


The term "immigrants" (also known as the foreign born) refers to people residing in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., persons on student or work visas), those admitted under refugee or asylee status, and persons illegally residing in the United States. 


Migration Policy Institute tabulation of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012, 2011, and 2010 American Community Surveys and 1970, 1990, and 2000 Census decennial data. All other data are from Campbell J. Gibson and Emily Lennon, U.S. Census Bureau, Working Paper No. 29, Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850 to 1990, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999.