Immigration has been a highly debated issue in the United States for many years. In this blog post we provide updates on the latest trends and statistics regarding immigration. This information is crucial for understanding the current state of immigration and the impact it has on the country.
Sr. Content Editor
Last Updated: 02.13.2023
In the fiscal year 2022, a total of slightly more than 25,000 refugees were granted admission to the United States. The foreign-born population now constitutes almost 15% of the overall population in the country. In this section, you'll discover the extent of growth in the immigration population. Keep reading to uncover the details.
As of November 2022, the combined number of legal and illegal immigrants employed in the United States was 29.6 million, an increase of 1.9 million compared to November 2019 prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
The 29.6 million immigrant workers in November 2022 surpassed the pre-Covid growth rate of immigrant workers by one million, indicating that immigrant workers have not been "absent."
Contrary to immigrants, the number of employed U.S.-born Americans in November 2022 was 2.1 million less than in November 2019, prior to the pandemic outbreak.
In November 2022, the total number of legal and illegal immigrants or foreign-born individuals, including both workers and non-workers, reached a record high of 48.4 million in American history, an increase of 3.4 million compared to January 2021 when President Biden assumed office.
An analysis of previous monthly data suggests that approximately 60% or 2 million out of the 3.4 million increase in the overall immigrant population since January 2021 can be attributed to illegal immigration.
The current percentage of immigrants in the total population of the United States is 14.7%, which is comparable to their representation in 1910 and just slightly below the highest point ever reached in 1890 at 14.8%.
The immigrant population in November 2022, which stood at 48.4 million, is larger than it has been in any year since 1900. In fact, it exceeds the foreign-born population recorded in any previous decennial census or survey dating back to 1850, when the foreign-born were first recorded in the census.
The proportion of the U.S. population that is comprised of immigrants is currently 14.7%.
This represents a threefold increase from the share in 1970 and nearly a twofold increase from the share in 1990.
From January 2009 to present, the foreign-born population has increased by 11.3 million.
The 3.4 million increase in the immigrant population in the last 23 months can be considered exceptional and without precedent.
In 2021, the foreign-born population made up 13.6% of the total population in the United States.
Immigration from Latin American countries other than Mexico, despite a slight decrease, was responsible for 71% of the increase in the foreign-born population since January 2021.
The 10.22 million illegal immigrants estimated in 2021 showed a substantial drop from the 11.48 million estimated for January 2019. Nevertheless, the population of illegal immigrants in January and February of 2022 is comparable to the number recorded in January 2019.
It is estimated that the number of illegal immigrants in the country in January 2022 was 11.35 million, a rise of 1.13 million from the 10.22 million estimated in January 2021. The preliminary estimate for February 2022 stands at 11.46 million.
Approximately two-thirds (over one million) of the increase in the overall foreign-born population since January 2021 can be attributed to illegal immigrants.
The United States boasts the largest immigrant population globally, with a total of over 48 million individuals. Furthermore, during the year 2022, over 900,000 immigrants residing in the United States achieved U.S. citizenship. In this section, we highlight the states with the largest immigrant populations, providing you with more in-depth information. So, continue reading to learn more!
California was home to 10.68 million foreign-born residents, representing 27.2% of the state's population.
Los Angeles County alone had 3.457 million immigrants, and cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Riverside were immigration hubs.
In 2021, the foreign-born population in California decreased to 26.6% due to people moving out of the state since the start of the pandemic.
Texas is in the second place with a foreign-born population of 4.7 million, which makes up 16.9% of its total population of 27.9 million people.
Recent data indicates that the proportion of foreign-born individuals in Texas stands at 17.2%.
The state of New York is now home to 4.54 million immigrants, which constitutes 23.0% of its total population.
The New York City metropolitan area has a significant presence of immigrants, with an estimated 6 million residing there.
The foreign-born population in New York has declined to 22.3% due to the impact of the pandemic and related migrations, resulting in a more dramatic loss of population in the state.
Florida has 4.23 million immigrants, making up 20.6% of its total population.
With its fast-growing population, Florida's foreign-born residents have recently increased to 21.2%.
New Jersey is home to the fifth largest immigrant population in the US, with approximately 2 million immigrants accounting for 22.4% of the state's 8.9 million total population.
Recent data shows this number has risen to 23.0%.
Illinois is home to 1.77 million immigrants, accounting for 13.8% of its total population.
Chicago is a significant hub for immigrants, and as of 2021, 14.2% of its 7.12 million residents are foreign-born, reflecting an increase.
Massachusetts' immigrant population has increased to 16.5% of its 6.8 million residents.
The city of Boston, home to numerous colleges, has a diverse immigrant population, and these figures have risen to almost 18% from 2016 to 2021.
In Georgia, about 10% of the 10.3 million total population are immigrants, with 1.03 million foreign-born residents and Atlanta as the largest immigration hub. Recent data shows no change in this percentage.
Due to its proximity to the immigrant-rich District of Columbia and lower cost of living, Virginia has 1.02 million immigrants, accounting for 12.2% of its total population.
In 2021, Washington had an estimated 1.03 million immigrants.
This accounts for 15% of its total population with Seattle continuing to be its largest immigration hub in the northwest region of the U.S.
The most recent Vintage 2022 population estimates, released a few days ago, indicate that net international migration added over a million people to the U.S. population between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. The majority of these immigrants came from Mexico, China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. For a more in-depth understanding, read the section below.
Mexico is the leading country of origin for immigrants in the United States. Over the decade from 2011 to 2020, the U.S. received a total of almost 10.3 million immigrants, with nearly 1.5 million (14.3%) hailing from Mexico, a number more than double that of any other country.
In 2018, approximately 11.2 million immigrants residing in the U.S. were from Mexico.
They comprise 25% of the total immigrant population in the country.
The second and third largest origin groups of immigrants in the United States were from China and India, each comprising 6% of the total immigrant population.
The Philippines and El Salvador were the fourth and fifth largest groups, accounting for 4% and 3% of the immigrant population, respectively.
In terms of numbers, China had 713,527 immigrants living in the U.S. and India had 631,689.
These groups play a significant role in shaping the diverse cultural fabric of the country.
When categorized by region of birth, the combined population of immigrants from Asia accounted for 28% of the total immigrant population in the U.S., which is close to the proportion of immigrants from Mexico (25%).
Europe, Canada, and other North America account for 13% of the immigrant population.
The Caribbean makes up 10% of the immigrant population.
Central America comprises 8% of the immigrant population.
South America accounts for 7% of the immigrant population.
The Middle East and North Africa make up 4% of the immigrant population.
Sub-Saharan Africa constitutes 5% of the immigrant population.
Nearly one third of all immigrants in the United States are from Mexico.
During the 2022 fiscal year, a significant number of Haitians, totaling over 56,000, arrived in the United States, predominantly through the southern border.
The immigrant population in the United States is highly diverse, with individuals from over 200 countries and territories becoming new residents of the country each year.
The Hispanic immigrant population accounted for a large portion of the growth in the U.S., representing 924,000 individuals, or 61% of the increase since last November.
Both the federal government and outside researchers estimate that nearly three-quarters of undocumented immigrants in Census Bureau data are of Hispanic origin.
The number of Hispanic immigrants, like the total foreign-born population, declined significantly during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic but rebounded by the end of 2020 and continued to rise throughout 2021.
An increase in Hispanic immigration suggests a significant rise in illegal immigration, as estimated by the federal government and outside researchers, who previously found that nearly three-quarters of undocumented immigrants are Hispanic.
Approximately 35% of all Hispanic immigrants are estimated to be in the United States without legal authorization.
The Asian immigrant community is expected to surpass the Hispanic community as the largest immigrant group in the United States by 2055.
The Asian immigrant community is expected to make up the largest proportion of all immigrants, at 38%, surpassing the Hispanic community.
The Hispanic community is projected to make up 31% of all immigrants.
The White community is expected to make up 20%.
The Black community is expected to make up 9%.
These estimates highlight the diversity and shifting demographics of the U.S. immigrant population. The numbers are subject to change based on future immigration policies and events.
In this section, we will provide the latest statistics on the age and gender of immigrants in the United States. These statistics will give us a better understanding of the demographic makeup of the immigrant population
The average age of recent immigrants, both legal and illegal, was 31 years, compared to 26 years in 2000.
The share of newly arrived immigrants aged 50 and older has seen a significant increase, doubling from 8% in 2000 to 15% in 2019.
The share of immigrants 55+ increased to 11% in 2019, double the 5% in 2000. The share of those 65+ was 6% in 2019, compared to 2% in 2000.
The average age of new arrivals in America has slightly decreased from 2017-2018, showing that age of immigration is no longer on the rise. The older age groups still have a higher share in 2019 compared to 2000 and 2010.
Each year, the US welcomes 224,000 immigrants aged 50 or older, including 172,000 aged 55 and over, and 89,000 aged 65 and over.
The trend of older ages among immigrants affects most regions and countries.
Factors such as aging populations, more green cards for parent of US citizens, and a decline in illegal immigration likely contribute to the increase in average age of new arrivals.
The average age of all immigrants, both new and established, rose from 39 to 46 years between 2000 and 2019, a faster increase than the average age rise for the entire US population.
The aging of the immigrant population has rapidly increased, with the number of immigrants 65 and older doubling from 3.3 million in 2000 to 7.5 million in 2019.
The growth in the number of immigrant seniors (65+) was 126% from 2000 to 2019, surpassing the 42% increase in the number of working-age immigrant (18-64).
The rapid aging of the immigrant population was caused by the increase in new arrivals' age and natural aging of existing immigrants, but also the fact that births to immigrants are added to the native-born population, not the immigrant population.
The average age of working-age immigrants (16-64) increased 3.3 years between 2000 and 2019, a significant change considering the limited age range.
The majority of U.S. immigrants are women, with 52% being female in 2019. This fluctuates slightly but females tend to be a slight majority, accounting for 53% in 1980, 51% in 1990, 50% in 2000, and 51% in 2010.
In 2020, female immigrants made up over half of the U.S.'s 23 million immigrant population, having a significant impact on society and the economy.
Women immigrants account for 16 percent of all employed women. In fact, women from the Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia have higher rates of participation in the labor force than U.S.-born women.
Mexico was the country of origin for the largest number of female immigrants in 2018, accounting for almost a quarter (23.3 percent) of the total. India was the second-largest source, at 5.4 percent, followed by China (5.3 percent) and the Philippines (5.2 percent).
Immigrants account for 14 percent of the female population.
More male immigrants come from Mexico and India than female immigrants.
Women outnumbered men among immigrants from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, El Salvador, Colombia, and Korea.
In 2016, there were approximately 4.5 million unauthorized immigrant women in the United States. This made up approximately 45 percent of the adult unauthorized immigrant population.
277,901 female immigrants obtained LPR status because they were an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, compared to only 201,058 male immigrants.
70,921 men, on the other hand, obtained LPR status under employment-based categories, compared to 67,249 women.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among foreign-born individuals in the United States saw a significant decrease, dropping from 9.2 percent in 2020 to 5.6 percent in 2021.
The proportion of foreign-born individuals in the U.S. civilian labor force returned to its 2019 level of 17.4 percent in 2021, after a slight dip to 17.0 percent in 2020 during the pandemic.
The foreign-born labor force saw an increase of 671,000 from 2020 to 2021, whereas the native-born labor force remained largely unchanged.
Between 2020 and 2021, total employment rose by 4.8 million, with a 1.6 million increase in employment among the foreign-born, representing a 6.5 percent growth.
Employment also increased among the native-born population, with an increase of 3.2 million, but the relative increase was smaller at 2.6 percent, compared to 6.5 percent for the foreign-born population.
In 2021, nearly half of the foreign-born labor force was composed of Hispanics, while one quarter was composed of Asians.
In 2021, foreign-born men maintained a higher rate of labor force participation, at 76.8 percent, compared to their native-born counterparts, who participated at a rate of 65.8 percent.
Contrarily, the labor force participation rate for foreign-born women was lower, at 53.4 percent, compared to the rate of 56.6 percent for native-born women.
In 2021, compared to native-born workers, foreign-born workers were more likely to be employed in service occupations, as well as in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations, and in production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
In comparison to native-born workers, foreign-born workers were less likely to be employed in management, professional, and related occupations, as well as in sales and office occupations.
In 2021, the median usual weekly earnings for foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers was $898, while their native-born counterparts earned a median of $1,017 per week.
In 2021, men made up 57.4 percent of the foreign-born labor force, while they accounted for 52.1 percent of the native-born labor force.
Compared to the native-born labor force, a higher proportion of the foreign-born labor force consisted of 25- to 54-year-olds, at 71.4 percent, compared to 62.2 percent for their native-born counterparts.
In 2021, nearly half, or 47.6 percent, of the foreign-born labor force was comprised of Hispanics, and 25.0 percent was comprised of Asians.
In comparison, the native-born labor force had much lower proportions of Hispanics and Asians, at 12.1 percent and 2.4 percent respectively.
Approximately 16.2 percent of the foreign-born labor force was comprised of individuals identifying as White.
9.9 percent of the foreign-born labor force was Black, in contrast to the 70.2 percent and 12.3 percent Black representation in the native-born labor force.
In 2021, the median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers, which was $898, was 88.3 percent of the median earnings of their native-born counterparts, which was $1,017.
Among men, the median weekly earnings for foreign-born workers, which was $957, was 84.6 percent of the median weekly earnings for their native-born counterparts, which was $1,131.
The median earnings for foreign-born women, which was $804, were 86.7 percent of the median earnings of native-born women, which was $927.
The disparities in earnings can be attributed to a multitude of factors, including variations in the educational attainment, occupation, industry, and geographic region distributions of foreign-born and native-born workers.
In 2021, Hispanic foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers earned 84.3 percent as much as their native-born counterparts among the major race and ethnicity groups.
Both Black and Asian foreign-born workers earned slightly more than their native-born counterparts, with about an 8 percent difference for both groups.
White foreign-born workers earned a higher wage compared to their native-born counterparts, with a difference of 15.4 percent.
In 2021, the weekly earnings of foreign-born and native-born workers increased with education.
Those with less than a high school diploma earned $610 per week.
Foreign-born workers age 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher earned approximately $1,521 per week, which is 2.5 times as much
In 2021, the earnings of native-born workers with a bachelor's degree and higher were 2.2 times more than those with less than a high school diploma, with a weekly earning of $1,440 compared to $669.
In 2021, the native-born labor force had higher median earnings compared to the foreign-born labor force at the majority of educational attainment levels.
For instance, in 2021, high school graduates who did not pursue higher education and worked full-time earned 89% of what their native-born counterparts made. The foreign-born workers in this group earned an average of $735, while the native-born workers earned an average of $826.
On the other hand, among individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher, the foreign-born workers had slightly higher earnings compared to their native-born counterparts. The foreign-born workers in this category earned an average of $1,521, while the native-born workers earned an average of $1,440.
In 2021, foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service (21.2% vs 14.9%), natural resources and construction (14.2% vs 8.1%), and production and transportation (15.3% vs 12.1%) occupations.
Foreign-born workers were less likely than native-bornworkers to be employed in management, professional, and related occupations (35.2 percent versus 43.9percent) and in sales and office occupations (14.2 percent versus 20.9 percent).
The service sector saw a significant gender wage gap, with 30.0 percent of foreign-born workers employed there compared to 17.7 percent of native-born workers.
In service occupations, foreign-born women were overrepresented compared to native-born women, with 30% vs 17.7%.
However, native-born men and women were more likely to be in management and professional positions, and sales and office jobs, compared to foreign-born workers.