E.g., 01/17/2021
E.g., 01/17/2021

U.S. Data

U.S. Data

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.

Recent Activity

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Fact Sheets
May 2007
By  Julia Gelatt
Policy Briefs
May 2007
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Jeanne Batalova and Julia Gelatt
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The U.S. federal government has spread immigration-related responsibilities among six agencies. MPI’s Megan Davy, Deborah Meyers, and Jeanne Batalova explain which agencies handle such tasks as assisting refugees, issuing visas, and handling interior enforcement.
According to the 2000 census, more than 150,000 foreign born lived in the counties affected by Hurricane Katrina. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign-born population in the areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
About one in 10 U.S. immigrants is self-employed. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova and David Dixon explore the importance and dimensions of this phenomenon.

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.

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.

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Recent Activity

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In 2006, nearly 15.2 million naturalized citizens were eligible to vote in the United States. MPI's Claire Bergeron and Jeanne Batalova examine naturalization trends.
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In 2006, the U.S. admitted more than 41,000 refugees for resettlement and granted asylum to more than 26,000 people. MPI's Kelly O'Donnell and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at refugee and asylum statistics in the United States.

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Nearly 1.3 million individuals became lawful permanent residents of the United States in 2006. MPI's Gretchen Reinemeyer and Jeanne Batalova look at the latest statistics on legal immigration.

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Of the 15.36 million union members in 2006, 12 percent were foreign born. MPI's Chuncui Velma Fan and Jeanne Batalova examine the data on immigrants and labor unions from 1996 to 2006.

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Over half of the foreign born in the United States in 2005 arrived in 1990 or later. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Aaron Terrazas look at the countries of origin, education levels, occupations, and other characteristics of newer immigrants.

Policy Briefs
May 2007

This report offers a series of original charts that depict the characteristics of recent immigrants who are representative of those likely to be affected by the proposed merit-based points system for selecting permanent immigrants to the United States.

Fact Sheets
May 2007

While official measures of annual permanent immigration levels simply account for those who obtain lawful permanent resident status in a particular year, this report offers a more complex approximation by including estimates of certain forms of temporary immigration and unauthorized immigration in the calculus.

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In 2005, U.S. immigration officials detained nearly a quarter of a million individuals. MPI's Dawn Konet and Jeanne Batalova look at the most recent data on apprehensions, detentions, and removals.

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