Immigrant Population Reaches Record Number

Photo by Rhododentrites, Creative Commons License

The new wave of immigration sweeping into the U.S. brought the immigrant population to a record number of 43.7 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That includes legal and illegal immigrants and shows an increase of half a million since 2015 and 12.6 million since 2000.

While the country debates immigration and President Trump has moved to overturn the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gave 800,000 young people legal status, the Census Bureau points out that immigrants represented one out of eight residents in the U.S. or 13.5 percent.  That’s the highest percentage in 106 years.  

People from Mexico represented the largest number of immigrants coming into the country, but because many return to Mexico, the number of Mexican immigrants hasn’t grown in the last six years, the Census Bureau reports.

The increase in the number of people coming into the U.S. came from Caribbean countries, Central America, South America, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

A look at the individual countries reveals that the number of people from Saudi Arabia has risen 122 percent since 2010.  More than 654,000 came from India and more than 550,000 from China in the same period. 

Many immigrants chose the Sunbelt states as destinations.  Texas gained nearly 588,000 immigrants, Florida close to 578,500, and California 527,000.  New York, by contrast, gained over 238,500 and New Jersey a little more than 171,500.

The Census Bureau did find that number of immigrants overall from Mexico, Canada and Europe declined. 

The data comes from the American Community Survey (ACS), and Homeland Security had previously estimated that the survey missed about 1.9 million immigrants. So the Census Bureau pushed the unofficial estimate of immigrants up to a likely 45.6 million, illegal arrivals as well as legal ones.

Statista, the data-gathering group took the information and created an info-graphic that shows the increase and the pattern of immigration in the U.S. since 1900. 

Infographic: U.S. Immigrant Population Hit Record 43.7 Million In 2016  | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.