Mexican-Born Population Over Time, 1850-Present


Mexican-Born Population Over Time, 1850-Present

Since 1980, immigrants from Mexico have been the largest national-origin group in the United States. This line chart traces the growth of this population since 1970 and a subsequent decline, albeit small in scale, following the 2007-09 recession.


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, legal permanent residents, certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., refugees and persons on student or work visas), and persons illegally residing in the United States.


Migration Policy Institute (MPI) tabulation of data from U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 and 2019 American Community Surveys (ACS); 1970, 1990, and 2000 Decennial Census data were accessed from Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek, Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database] (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010); data for 1850 to 1990, excluding 1940 and 1950, were from Campbell J. Gibson and Emily Lennon, "Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-1990" (Working Paper No. 29, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, February 1999).