U.S. Foreign-Born Population: Trends and Selected Characteristics [January 18, 2011]   [open pdf - 391KB]

"This report offers context for consideration of immigration policy options by presenting data on key geographic, demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the foreign-born population residing in the United States. Interest in the U.S. foreign-born population stems in part from the changing demographic profile of the United States as well as the rapidity of such change, and how both of these trends correspond to U.S. immigration policy. Although the foreign born are relatively small in absolute terms--38 million people representing 12.5% of the total U.S. population of 304.1 million in 2008--they are growing far more rapidly than the native-born population. Between 2000 and 2008, the foreign born contributed 30% of the total U.S. population increase and almost all of the prime 25-54 working age group increase. Close to 30% of the foreign born arrived in the United States since 2000, and roughly 29% were residing illegally in the United States in 2009. Geographic origins of the foreign born have shifted from Europe (74% in 1960) to Latin America and Asia (80% in 2008). In recent years, many foreign born have settled in new urban and rural destinations, often in response to employment opportunities in construction, manufacturing, and low-skilled services. Yet, as in previous decades, at least two-thirds of the foreign born remain concentrated in just six states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41592
Public Domain
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