More than 43 million people living in the United States—whether as naturalized citizen, legal permanent resident, temporary resident, or unauthorized immigrant—were born in another country, representing 13 percent of the U.S. population. Immigration has ebbed and flowed throughout U.S. history, peaking at nearly 15 percent of the population in 1890 and plummeting to 5 percent in 1970. The data-rich research offered here traces the U.S. immigrant population by size, educational and workforce characteristics, English language proficiency, and more.
This policy brief examines the “twilight status” or the de facto partial recognition of two particular categories of immigrants within the United States’ broader undocumented population: those with legally recognized claims to eventual lawful permanent resident status; and those with legally recognized temporary statuses.
The importance of knowledge, skills, and technologies in post-industrial economies has beckoned well-educated migrants to the United States. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign born with a bachelor's degree or higher.
The European born are more likely to be proficient in English, work in higher-level occupations, and have higher earnings than the overall foreign-born population. MPI's David Dixon examines the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Europe.
Over 15,000 Hmong from Laos are being resettled in the U.S., the latest wave of refugees from the era of U.S. involvement in Indochina. This Spotlight by MPI's Jennifer Yau examines the political developments and demographic impact of the Hmong refugee experience.