E.g., 06/17/2021
E.g., 06/17/2021
U.S. Data

U.S. Data

Immigration_History

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.

For information on U.S. immigrants by state, check out the State Immigration Data Profiles tool. And for detailed profiles on unauthorized immigrants nationally and by state, visit this tool.

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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.

MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the fifth-largest immigrant group in the United States.

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Recent Activity

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The number of new immigrant arrivals has remained relatively stable since 1986. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova looks at data on permanent immigration to the U.S..

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In 2005, the United States admitted almost 54,000 refugees for resettlement and granted asylum to more than 25,000 people. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at refugee and asylum statistics in the United States.

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The Caribbean born accounted for almost 10 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's Julia Gelatt and David Dixon look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

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The size of the Iranian born population in the United States has more than doubled since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979. MPI’s Shirin Hakimzadeh and David Dixon provide background and statistics.
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The majority of South American born counted in the 2000 census were from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. MPI's David Dixon and Julia Gelatt look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

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Over half of all Central American foreign born in the United States are from El Salvador and Guatemala. MPI's Megan Davy examines the numbers as well as events and policies that have shaped Central American migration.

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The Asian born accounted for more than a quarter of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's David Dixon looks at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Eastern, Southeastern South Central and Western Asia.

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About five million students with limited proficiency in English were enrolled in U.S. public schools in the 2003-2004 school year. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines their characteristics.

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