A report by the Center for Immigration Studies which analyzed new data from the US Census Bureau’s “2017 American Community Survey” (ACS) has showed that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) has reached 44.5 million – the highest number in U.S. history.
Growth was led by immigrants from Latin American countries other than Mexico, as well as Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The number from Mexico, Europe and Canada either remained flat or declined since 2010. The Census Bureau refers to immigrants as the foreign-born population.
“America continues to experience the largest wave of mass immigration in our history. The decline in Mexican immigrants has been entirely offset by immigration from the rest of the world. By 2027, the immigrant share will hit its highest level in U.S. history, and continue to rise,” said Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research and co-author of the report.
* As a share of the U.S. population, immigrants (legal and illegal) comprised 13.7 percent or nearly one out of seven U.S. residents in 2017, the highest percentage since 1910.
* The number of immigrants hit a record 44.5 million in 2017, an increase of nearly 800,000 since 2016, 4.6 million since 2010, and 13.4 million since 2000.
* There were also 17.1 million U.S.-born minor children of immigrants in 2017, for a total of 61.6 million immigrants and their young children in the country — accounting for one in five U.S. residents.
* Between 2010 and 2017, 9.5 million new immigrants settled in the United States. New arrivals are offset by roughly 300,000 immigrants who return home each year and natural mortality of about 300,000 annually. As a result, the immigrant population grew 4.6 million from 2010 to 2017.
* The 9.5 million new arrivals since 2010 roughly equals the entire immigrant population in 1970.
* Of immigrants who have arrived since 2010, 13% or 1.3 million came from Mexico — by far the top sending country. However, because of return migration and natural mortality among the existing population, the overall Mexican-born population actually declined by 441,190.
* The regions with largest numerical increases since 2010 were East Asia and South Asia (each up 1.1 million), the Caribbean (up 676,023), Sub-Saharan Africa (up 606,835), South America (up 483,356), Central America (up 474,504), and the Middle East (472,554).
* The decline in Mexican immigrants masks, to some extent, the enormous growth of Latin American immigrants. If seen as one region, the number from Latin America (excluding Mexico) grew 426,536 in just the last year and 1.6 million since 2010.
* The sending countries with the largest increases in the number immigrants since 2010 were India (up 830,215), China (up 677,312), the Dominican Republic (up 283,381), Philippines (up 230,492), Cuba (up 207,124), El Salvador (up 187,783), Venezuela (up 167,105), Colombia (up 146,477), Honduras (up 132,781), Guatemala (up 128,018), Nigeria (up 125,670), Brazil (up 111,471), Vietnam (up 102,026), Bangladesh (up 95,005), Haiti (up 92,603), and Pakistan (up 92,395).
* The sending countries with the largest percentage increases since 2010 were Nepal (up 120%), Burma (up 95%), Venezuela (up 91%), Afghanistan (up 84%), Saudi Arabia (up 83%), Syria (up 75%), Bangladesh (up 62%), Nigeria (up 57%), Kenya (up 56%), India (up 47%), Iraq (up 45%), Ethiopia (up 44%), Egypt (up 34%), Brazil (up 33%), Dominican Republic and Ghana (up 32%), China (up 31%), Pakistan (up 31%), and Somalia (up 29%).
* The states with the largest increases in the number of immigrants since 2010 were Florida (up 721,298), Texas (up 712,109), California (up 502,985), New York (up 242,769), New Jersey (up 210,481), Washington (up 173,891), Massachusetts (up 172,908), Pennsylvania (up 154,701), Virginia (up 151,251), Maryland (up 124,241), Georgia (up 123,009), Michigan (up 116,059), North Carolina (up 110,279), and Minnesota (up 107,760).
* The states with the largest percentage increase since 2010 were North Dakota (up 87%), Delaware (up 37%), West Virginia (up 33%), South Dakota (up 32%), Wyoming (up 30%), Minnesota (up 28%), Nebraska (up 28%), Pennsylvania (up 21%), Utah (up 21%), Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Washington, and Iowa (each up 20%). The District of Columbia’s immigrant population was up 25%.
Data Source. On September 13, the Census Bureau released some of the data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The survey reflects the U.S. population as of July 1, 2017. The immigrant population, referred to as the foreign-born by the Census Bureau, is comprised of those individuals who were not U.S. citizens at birth. It includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), temporary workers, and foreign students. It does not include those born to immigrants in the United States or those born in outlying U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico. Prior research by the Department of Homeland Security suggests that 1.9 million immigrants (legal and illegal) are missed by the ACS.