E.g., 01/18/2022
E.g., 01/18/2022

Migration Information Source

Mother and daughter from Middle Eastern background
iStock/Phynart Studio

Migration from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to the United States doubled between 2000 and 2019, yet these immigrants represented less than 3 percent of the overall U.S. foreign-born population as of 2019. MENA immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to be English proficient, have a college degree, and work in management, business, science, and arts occupations.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.
Library of Congress

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.

Articles
Family members take a selfie at an airport in Greece.
IOM/Konstantina Mintzoli

The slow and uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic prompted new patterns of movement in parts of the world in 2021. New conflicts also erupted, ongoing crises smoldered, and migrants were often stuck in the middle. Our annual Migration Information Source Top 10 countdown reviews what we consider to be the year's most important migration trends and events.

Migrants enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Biden administration's court-ordered restart of the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols, known informally as the Remain in Mexico policy, puts it in the awkward position of reviving a program it is simultaneously still trying to end. The Trump-era program forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait out the duration of their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico and was only questionably successful at deterring unauthorized arrivals.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.
John Hogg/World Bank

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

New U.S. citizens take an oath during a naturalization ceremony.
U.S. National Archives

More than half of all immigrants in the United States are naturalized citizens. The number of new naturalizations has fluctuated from year to year, hitting a decade-long low in fiscal year 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising processing times. This article provides information on naturalized citizens in the United States, including historical trends and socioeconomic characteristics.

Recent Articles

MeetYourJob Handwerkskammer Flickr

After receiving more than 2 million asylum seekers in 2015-16, European countries are turning to the task of integrating the newcomers, including getting refugees into work. This article explores labor market integration of refugees in five Northern European countries—Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden—drawing key lessons for today from the experiences of earlier groups of humanitarian arrivals.

DepartmentOfJustice GregoryVarnum Wikimedia

The Trump administration has been steadily building a case to penalize "sanctuary" cities—those jurisdictions that in some way limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities—after threatening to cut federal funding. Despite court rulings that seemed to strike a blow against these efforts, the Justice Department is moving forward with its strategy, relying on a broad interpretation of a federal statute, as this article explores.

AustraliaChineseLanterns JonathanODonnell Flickr

Immigration has driven economic and social development in Australia for more than two centuries. Even as more than one-fourth of the country’s population is foreign born and Australia ranks third among top refugee resettlement countries worldwide, controversy surrounding its hardline treatment of asylum seekers arriving by boat has cast a shadow on its reputation as a welcoming country, as this article explores.

American SeanDavis Flickr crop

The United States is by far the world's top migration destination, home to roughly one-fifth of all global migrants. In 2016, nearly 44 million immigrants lived in the United States, comprising 13.5 percent of the country's population. Get the most sought-after data available on immigrants and immigration trends, including top countries of origin, legal immigration pathways, enforcement actions, health-care coverage, and much more.

BleakWinter DKashavelov UNHCR

The mental health of asylum seekers has emerged as an important issue following the 2015-16 European migration and refugee crisis. Many asylum seekers suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and similar conditions—with implications not only for their well-being but also potentially for the outcomes of their claims and the integrity of the asylum system as a whole, as this article explores.

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Development practitioners have long been aware of the change-making potential of diasporas, but only recently have begun to design programs that convert their latent talent and enthusiasm into results. This article by Tedla W. Giorgis and Aaron Terrazas examines the Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program (EDVP) as a powerful example of how diasporas, donors, and developing countries work together to build from individual strengths and address common challenges facing the developing world.

As interest in maximizing migration's benefits for development grows, so too does the need for impact evaluations that tell us something about what migration and development programs are actually accomplishing. Laura Chappell and Frank Laczko of the International Organization for Migration discuss how increased evaluation research can contribute to evidence-based policymaking, and the challenges of pursuing such a course.

Since mid-December 2010, popular uprisings have taken hold in a number of countries across North Africa and the Middle East in what has been dubbed the Arab Spring. Philippe Fargues of the European University Institute discusses the demographic trends underpinning the recent eruption of unrest in the Arab world, and the likely impact of the revolts on migration.

The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" were originally created for administrative purposes by the U.S. government, but have since come to define a population of 50.5 million people who trace their origins to 20 different countries. Rubén Rumbaut examines the origin and administrative use of the Hispanic-Latino category, and the effect it has had on the identities of people placed into it.

The European Union is an area of free movement that covers more than 4 million square kilometers and encompasses 27 countries. Saara Koikkalainen of the University of Lapland and the University of California-Davis discusses the history and current trends of free mobility in Europe.

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MPI's Betsy Cooper and Senior Demographer Elizabeth Grieco map out the characteristics of Canadians in the United States.

This Spotlight examines the educational attainment of the five largest immigrant groups in the United States, including those from Mexico, the Philippines, India, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), and Vietnam. According to the results of Census 2000, 62 percent of all foreign born in the United States have at least a high school education. Other measures of educational attainment, such as college or graduate degrees, vary widely by country of origin. The data presented in this Spotlight were derived from the U.S. Census 2000 1 Percent Public Use Micro-Sample (PUMS) file.

MPI Associate Policy Analyst Erin Patrick provides the latest figures on the U.S. refugee resettlement program, which is still operating well below traditional levels long after being thrown into crisis by the Sept. 11 attacks.

MPI's Sarah Margon outlines the latest developments affecting U.S. migration policy, including the application of the US-VISIT program to nationals of visa-waiver countries.

MPI’s Elizabeth Grieco and Brian Ray outline the characteristics of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. workforce.

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