US immigrant population at record level, with Asians set to overtake Hispanics – study
On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a study that used data from their previous statistical portraits of the immigrant population in the US from 1960 through 2015 in order to answer some questions about the current state of the immigrant population.
The data showed that while there were a record 43.2 million immigrants living in the US in 2015, there was a greater concentration of immigrants in the country in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants comprised 14.8 percent of the total population.
The immigrant population has been growing in the US since 1970, when they only made up 4.7 percent of the total population. The study cited the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act as the tipping point.
The study shows that the majority of the immigrants in the country are legal, with 24 percent of the population considered “unauthorized.” That population tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. That number dropped to 11 million by 2015, when unauthorized immigrants accounted for 3.4 percent of the total US population, according to the study.
By origin country, immigrants from Mexico make up 27 percent of the total immigrant population, the largest population from any single country. In a distant second, immigrants from China and India each make up 6 percent of the immigrant population.
Asians, however, are predicted to become the largest immigrant population in the US by 2055, according to the study. In 2065, Asians are expected to make up 38 percent of the immigration population, while Hispanics will only account for 31 percent.
In 2015, India was the top origin country for immigrants arriving in the US, with 110,000 people coming to America that year. When taken by region, immigrants from south and east Asia make up 27 percent of all immigrants, the same share as Mexico.
The study claims around 1 million immigrants arrive in the US each year, and they are projected to make up 88 percent of the population growth in the US through 2065 if current trends continue.
Nearly half of the immigrants living in the US reside in just three states, with 25 percent in California, 11 percent in Texas and 10 percent in New York. California had around 10.7 million immigrants in 2015, according to the study.
The majority of immigrants live in just 20 major cities, with the largest populations in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.
The study found that immigrants were less educated on average, but half of the immigrants over the age of five were considered “English proficient” in 2015, according to the Pew study.
Immigrants make up 17 percent of the total labor force, with 8 million unauthorized immigrants. Nearly half of the unauthorized immigrants work in either service or construction jobs.
Former President Barack Obama deported around 3 million immigrants between 2009 and 2016, more than former President George W. Bush, who deported 2 million between 2001 and 2008.
While the number of deportations went up slightly in 2016, Americans’ views of immigrants have significantly improved with the majority, 63 percent, saying immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” That same view was only held by 31 percent of Americans in 1994.