Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State and County, FY 2014-Present


Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State and County, FY 2014-Present

There has been substantial growth in the number of children arriving without a parent or guardian at the U.S-Mexico border since 2011, though with significant year-to-year variations. Unaccompanied children apprehended or determined inadmissible by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are referred to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency places children in ORR-funded shelters or other facilities and undertakes efforts along with ORR-funded staff to determine if the children have a parent or other potential sponsor with whom they can live while awaiting their immigration proceedings. Children are released to approved sponsors after a screening process.

This interactive tool draws on available ORR data and shows the number of unaccompanied minors released to sponsors by state and the state's share of children released from federal custody annually since 2014. The tool also provides select county-level data. Scroll through the fiscal year (FY) filter to show all federal fiscal years for which data are available or to narrow to a specific year. Hover over a state or territory to see data for that area. To get county-level data, select a state or territory and review the top counties list on the right-hand panel. The bar graph under the map changes depending on the selected state or territory. If a state or territory is not selected, the bar graphs will display nationwide results for all fiscal years. And to see numbers and rankings for states and counties for a year or all years, go to “Get the Data.”


* FY 2024 year-to-date data cover the period between October 1, 2023 - March 31, 2024.
The data provided here cover counties that have received at least 50 unaccompanied children in a given fiscal year, since this is how the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) reports county-level data. The data reflect the initial location of release to a sponsor. The fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The bar graphs generated by filtering by states are on different scales.


Migration Policy Institute (MPI) tabulation of FY 2015-2021 county-level data from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Unaccompanied Children Information: UC Data,” www.hhs.gov/programs/social-services/unaccompanied-children/index.html; state-level data for FY 2015-2024 are from the Office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), “Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State,” www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/grant-funding/unaccompanied-children-released-sponsors-state; county-level data for FY 2022-2024 are from ACF, “Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by County," www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/grant-funding/unaccompanied-children-released-sponsors-county. FY 2014 data are no longer available online.