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A portrait of the foreign-born population in the United States

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

2011 Destination for immigrants, source Pew Hispanic CenterThe Pew Research Hispanic Center recently released a statistical profile of the foreign-born population in the United States. Based on the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), the largest household survey in the United States, the report presents a detailed portrait of what the immigrant population in America looks like.

Some key findings include:

  • The United States is the world’s leader as a destination for immigrants.
  • In 2011, about 13% of the US population—or about 40.4 million people—were foreign-born. (For reference, the foreign-born share of the population peaked at just under 15% from 1890 to 1920.)
  • Since 2000, the immigrant population has increased by 30%, but unauthorized immigration has slowed drastically during this same time.
  • Nearly half of all US immigrants are naturalized citizens.
  • Mexico is the largest source country of US immigrants, comprising nearly 30% of all immigrants.
  • While most foreign-born children are proficient in English, only about half of adult immigrants are.

Check out the full report over at the Pew Research Center.