E.g., 07/08/2022
E.g., 07/08/2022
Country Resource - United States

United States

US
  • Population....................................................................... 334,998,398 (July 2021 est.)
  • Population growth rate .................................................................. 0.7% (2021 est.)
  • Birth rate.................................................... 12.33 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Death rate.................................................. 8.35 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Net migration rate.................................. 3.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*......................... White 72.4%, Black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.9%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 est.)

* A separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the United States who may be of any race or ethnic group (White, Black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total U.S. population is Hispanic as of 2010

Source: CIA World Factbook

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Recent Activity

Four dancers in traditional Ukrainian dress.

Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 displaced millions, the United States was home to nearly 355,000 Ukrainians. While most displaced Ukrainians have remained in neighboring countries, small numbers have come to the United States. This article examines the pre-invasion Ukrainian immigrant population in the United States—its history, sociodemographic characteristics, modes of arrival, and more.

Image of women smiling on hike

The adoption of immigration measures by state and local governments can affect the sense of belonging not just for immigrants but also for the U.S. born, with impacts on individuals’ wellbeing, their engagement with others, and political participation. As the number of subfederal immigration measures has proliferated in recent years, research suggests this growth could have wider-ranging repercussions than commonly understood.

Image of aspiring pastor and DACA recipient speaking at DACA event in Minneapolis

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program reached its 10th anniversary in June 2022. This article reviews the evidence on DACA’s impacts for Dreamers and the broader society, looks at the increased reliance on similar limited legal statuses to help segments of the unauthorized immigrant population, and examines the legal challenges the program has and is continuing to face.

Migrants from Haiti intercepted by U.S. authorities off the coast of Florida.

A recent uptick in the number of unauthorized migrants attempting to reach the United States by sea has been largely overshadowed by tensions on the southwest border but serves as an echo of eras past. This article explains why migrant interdictions have risen to recent highs, especially among Cubans and Haitians.

Instructors teach an African dance class in Miami.

The population of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States is relatively small, but it has grown substantially over the last four decades and is likely to continue to increase. This group of 2.1 million people is highly diverse, including individuals with a range of ethnic, linguistic, and other backgrounds, as this article explains.

U.S. immigration officials walk by a courthouse in Seattle.

New Biden administration guidelines encourage immigration prosecutors to support dismissing many low-priority deportation cases and focus on criminals, threats to national security, and other priorities. This move could have a major impact on clearing backlogs in the overstretched U.S. immigration court system, resulting in quicker determinations in removal and asylum cases, where wait times can presently stretch for years.

A teacher leads a lesson on the Korean alphabet in a U.S. dual-language immersion class

Immigrants from the Korean peninsula are one of the ten largest foreign-born groups in the United States, but their numbers have actually shrunk in recent years. Immigrants from Korea tend to be older, better educated, and earn higher incomes than the overall immigrant and native-born populations.

A woman in Italy is vaccinated before travel in 1951.

Requirements that international travelers and migrants prove vaccination against certain diseases are about as old as vaccines themselves. In some cases, vaccine certificates predated the existence of government-issued passports. This article explores the history of these requirements, which began with smallpox and have since been applied for diseases including cholera, polio, yellow fever, and, recently, COVID-19.

U.S. Border Patrol agents prepare to transport unauthorized migrants to Mexico under Title 42.

The United States’ controversial Title 42 migrant expulsions policy will come to an end in May 2022, after more than 1.7 million expulsions over two years. The COVID-19-era public-health restriction ushered in an unprecedented period of mass expulsions, including of would-be asylum seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Unwinding the policy will be complicated amid predictions of a significant increase in unauthorized migration.

A word cloud showing terminology used to refer to people crossing borders.

What’s in a name? Terms used to refer to people crossing international borders are frequently debated and often evolve, amid efforts to shape the narrative and changing political realities. This article explores the history and evolving use of terms such as "migrant," "refugee," "illegal immigrant," "unauthorized immigrant," and more.

Pages

Cover image for The Future of Remote Work
Reports
June 2022

The number of people who work from home or another location other than a traditional office has been growing for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this shift—with important implications for immigration policy. This report examines trends in remote work, challenges digital nomads and employers face when navigating immigration systems, and opportunities to adapt immigration policies to keep pace with changes in the world of work.

Cover image for The COVID-19 Catalyst report
Reports
June 2022

The pandemic and its economic fallout have created a perfect storm for immigrant integration, challenging the well-being and livelihoods of many migrants and refugees in Europe and North America while upending governments’ usual policy toolbox. This report looks at how policymakers and civil society have innovated, and what lessons can be gleaned to strengthen immigrant integration governance going forward.

Cover image for COVID-19’s Effects on U.S. Immigration and Immigrant Communities
Reports
June 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic recession have affected the lives of all U.S. residents, but immigrants have been among the hardest hit, with evidence of disproportionately high rates of death as well as a particularly high spike in unemployment. This report takes a look back at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected U.S. immigration policies and levels and the country’s immigrant communities.

Report cover, From Fear to Solidarity: The Difficulty in Shifting Public Narratives about Refugees
Reports
May 2022

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Cover image for English Learner Testing during the Pandemic
Reports
May 2022

In addition to upending daily life in the classroom, the pandemic has affected how states administer annual assessments to their students—disrupting a key means of collecting data on new or growing learning gaps that demand attention. This report explores how states have approached testing English Learners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what 2020-21 assessment data can and cannot tell us.

cover image for Destination-Country Policies to Foster Diaspora Engagement in Development
Reports
April 2022

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Cover image for Migration from Huehuetenango in Guatemala’s Western Highlands
Reports
March 2022

Since the early 2010s, unauthorized migration from Guatemala to the United States has risen dramatically. Huehuetenango, a department in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, is among the top sources of this emigration. This study examines the patterns and drivers of emigration from Huehuetenango, as well as potential strategies to address push factors and create alternatives to irregular migration.

Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022

Desde principios de la década de 2010, la migración irregular de Guatemala a Estados Unidos ha aumentado drásticamente. Huehuetenango, un departamento en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala, se encuentra entre las principales fuentes de esta emigración. Este estudio examina los patrones y factores impulsores de la emigración de Huehuetenango, así como las posibles estrategias para abordar factores de empuje y creación de alternativas a la migración irregular.

Cover image for The Central Role of Cooperation in Australia’s Immigration Enforcement Strateg
Reports
March 2022

Cooperation with other countries has become a central part of Australian border enforcement. Partnerships with countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Nauru, and Papua New Guinea have helped Australia curb irregular maritime migration, but also come at significant costs. This report explores the current and future role of cooperation in Australian immigration enforcement policy.

Pages

Cover image for the Spanish-language parent's guide on English Learner assessments
Fact Sheets
February 2022

La interacción de padres y miembros de la comunidad con los sistemas escolares de sus hijos es fundamental para asegurar su éxito académico. Para apoyar a las familias de estudiantes de inglés (EL, por sus siglas en inglés) mientras interactúan con escuelas locales, esta guía y glosario de términos clave contesta preguntas comunes, como por ejemplo por qué estos estudiantes toman exámenes anuales y cómo las escuelas utilizan los datos que resultan de tales exámenes.

Cover image for the parent's guide on English Learner assessments
Fact Sheets
February 2022

Parental and community engagement with schools is an important part of ensuring students’ educational success. To support English Learners’ families as they engage with their local schools, this question-and-answer document and glossary of key terms aim to help parents answer common questions, including why these students take tests and how schools use the test data.

Immigrant and U.S.-Born Parents of Young and Elementary-School-Age Children in the United States: Key Sociodemographic Characteristics
Fact Sheets
April 2021

Parents play an important role in supporting their children’s education, but certain factors—such as limited English proficiency, low levels of formal education, and digital access barriers—can make it difficult to do so. This fact sheet series looks at the characteristics of immigrant and U.S.-born parents of young and elementary-school-age children in 31 states and nationwide, and discusses how taking a two-generation approach to services can benefit entire families.

Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States: Stable Numbers, Changing Origins
Fact Sheets
December 2020

After decades of growth, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained largely stable since the 2008–09 recession. The group's demographics are changing, though, with a shrinking number of Mexicans and rising Asian and Central American arrivals. This fact sheet presents a profile of these 11 million individuals, including top origin countries; U.S. destinations; and age, education, job, income, home ownership, English proficiency, and other characteristics.

Cover for COVID fact sheet on unemployment of immigrant women in U.S.
Fact Sheets
November 2020

Working-age immigrant women in the United States entered the COVID-19-induced recession with unemployment rates similar to those of other groups. Yet they have been among the most affected by pandemic-related job losses. This fact sheet seeks to explain why they have been hit so hard by the coronavirus-induced recession.

 

coverthumb_io students factsheet
Fact Sheets
October 2020

Immigrants and the children of immigrants make up a large and growing segment of students at U.S. colleges and universities—up from 20 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2018. This fact sheet offers a first-of-its-kind profile of this population’s size and growth, identifies the top states for these students, and explores characteristics such as race/ethnicity and immigration status.

Stethoscope sitting on a medical textbook
Fact Sheets
July 2020

Across the United States, the skills of an estimated 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health-related degrees are going underutilized during a time of pandemic, with these health professionals either in low-skilled jobs or out of work. This fact sheet offers the first-ever state profiles of this population, including the states in which they live, the languages they speak, their fields of study, and legal statuses.

COVID-19 and Unemployment: Assessing the Early Fallout for Immigrants and Other U.S. Workers
Fact Sheets
June 2020

Even as the pandemic-induced loss of tens of millions of jobs over a period of weeks dealt a devastating blow across the United States, its effects were most pronounced on certain demographic groups: Immigrant women and, regardless whether they were born in or outside the United States, Latinos and workers with less than a high school degree or under age 25.

Coverthumb_UninsuredNoncitizens FS
Fact Sheets
May 2020

As millions of U.S. workers lose jobs and the health insurance associated with them, Medicaid and similar programs are increasingly important for people seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment. Yet many low-income uninsured noncitizens, including green-card holders, are excluded from such programs because of their immigration status, as this fact sheet explores.

coverthumb COVID 19 EssentialWorkers FS
Fact Sheets
March 2020

Six million immigrant workers are at the frontlines of keeping U.S. residents healthy and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic, representing disproportionate shares of physicians, home health aides, and retail-store pharmacists, for example. They also are over-represented in sectors most immediately devastated by mass layoffs, yet many will have limited access to safety-net systems and to federal relief, as this fact sheet details.

Pages

Cover image for Immigrant Children’s Medicaid and CHIP Access brief
Policy Briefs
June 2022

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program help many children in low-income families access health care. But under federal rules, hundreds of thousands of children are ineligible due to immigration status. This brief presents U.S. and state-level estimates of immigrant children who are eligible for and participate in these programs and considers the impact of state policies that expand access to public health insurance.

Cover image for Building Trust with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Work
Policy Briefs
May 2022

Building trust between service providers and immigrant and refugee families can be challenging, but it is also a key component of programs that successfully serve these families. This brief explores two-generation program strategies for creating trusting relationships, including hiring culturally competent staff and creating welcoming and safe spaces, and discusses the policy implications.

Cover image for Better Responses to Differing Immigration Statuses: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Work
Policy Briefs
May 2022

What status immigrants hold affects their access to U.S. public benefits and services. This brief examines approaches that two-generation programs are using to service immigrant families with a variety of statuses, including mixed-status families.

Cover image for Growing Language Skills with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting
Policy Briefs
May 2022

Language barriers can hinder immigrant families’ access to services and make it challenging for immigrant parents to find family-sustaining jobs and actively participate in their children’s education. This brief explores approaches service providers are using to make their offerings more culturally and linguistically responsive, and to support language learning among children and their parents.

Cover image Cultural Competency Secrets to Success with Immigrant and Refugee Families
Policy Briefs
May 2022

As the United States becomes more diverse, changes in the cultural makeup of communities can challenge longstanding practices in human services delivery. This brief explores strategies service providers can employ to build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of the communities they serve, leading to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families.

Cover image for Humanitarian Pathways for Central Americans
Policy Briefs
May 2022

For most Central Americans forced to flee their homes, traveling to Mexico or the United States to apply for asylum is their only option to seek international protection. To date, refugee resettlement has been used only sparingly in the region. This brief explores what role resettlement and other humanitarian pathways play in meeting these protection needs, and whether and how they could be scaled up.

Cover image for Vías humanitarias para personas centroamericanas
Policy Briefs
May 2022

Para la mayoría de las personas centroamericanas que se ven forzadas a abandonar sus hogares, viajar a México o Estados Unidos para solicitar refugio o asilo es la única opción para buscar protección internacional. A la fecha, el reasentamiento de personas refugiadas ha sido utilizado de manera limitada en la región. Este informe explora el papel que el reasentamiento y otras vías de protección humanitarias desempeñan en atender estas necesidades.

Cover image for Leveraging the Skills of Immigrant Health-Care Professionals in Illinois and Chicago
Policy Briefs
April 2022

Immigrants play important roles across the U.S. health-care workforce, but not all of those with in-demand health and medical degrees are able to put their skills to work. Addressing this skill underutilization, or “brain waste,” has only become more important during the pandemic. This brief examines the extent of skill underutilization among immigrants with health degrees in Illinois, a state with a long history of immigration, and efforts to better leverage these skills.

Cover image for The Invisible Work of Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers and Its Importance for Immigrant and Dual Language Learner Families
Policy Briefs
December 2021

Child care provided informally by relatives, friends, and neighbors is the most common form of U.S. child care, and it is particularly prevalent among immigrant and Dual Language Learner families. Yet it is frequently overlooked in child-care policy conversations. This brief explores the importance of this type of care and highlights promising practices for increasing support for care providers and the families they serve.

Cover image for Investing in Alternatives to Irregular Migration from Central America: Options to Expand U.S. Employment Pathways
Policy Briefs
November 2021

There is increasing recognition that the United States, Mexico, and migrant-origin countries in Central America will need to work together to address the large-scale, irregular movement of people through the region. While it is critical to improve humanitarian protection for those in need, expanding legal opportunities to take up employment abroad is another part of this equation, as this policy brief explores.

Pages

vanishing_frontiers_cover
Books
June 2018

Wall or no wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships mean the U.S.-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier, weaving together two economies and cultures, as MPI President Andrew Selee sketches in this book, which draws from his travels and discussions with people from all walks of life in Mexico and the United States.

cover Yevgeny
Books
July 2013

This edited volume develops a pragmatic approach to the engagement of highly skilled members of the diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin. The book, edited by a World Bank senior economist, is based on empirical work in middle-income and high-income economies.

MPI Cover ImmigrantsChangingLaborMarket
Books
March 2013

This volume, which brings together research by leading economists and labor market specialists, examines the role immigrants play in the U.S. workforce, how they fare in good and bad economic times, and the effects they have on native-born workers and the labor sectors in which they are engaged. The book traces the powerful economic forces at play in today’s globalized world and includes policy prescriptions for making the American immigration system more responsive to labor market needs.

Cover CBI bookstore
Books
December 2012

This interdisciplinary volume examines the health, well-being, school readiness, and academic achievement of children in Black immigrant families (most with parents from Africa and the Caribbean)—a population that has had little academic attention even as it represents an increasing share of the U.S. Black child population.

cover WefareBook
Books
September 2011

This edited volume rigorously assesses the 1996 U.S. welfare reform law, questions whether its immigrant provisions were ever really necessary, and examines its impact on legal immigrants’ ability to integrate into American society.

featured_migrationandrecession[1]
Books
June 2011

This edited volume addresses the impact of the economic crisis in seven major immigrant-receiving countries: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 

Book cover SHM large for vi
Books
April 2010

This volume, by a former senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, argues that the U.S. approach to immigration and border security is off-kilter and not keeping pace with the scope and complexity of people’s movement around the world, nor with expectations regarding freedom of movement.

cover publicopinion
Books
January 2010

The book focuses on three case studies: the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The volume includes chapters analyzing public opinion and media coverage of immigration issues in each country. Additional chapters propose strategies for unblocking opposition to thoughtful, effective immigration-related reforms.

cover_securingfuture[1]
Books
February 2007

Securing the Future seeks to define what policymakers and scholars mean by integration while attempting to sketch the contours of U.S. integration policy. The volume reviews evidence of immigrants’ integration by examining the progress of the second generation, as well as trends in education, health, the workforce, and citizenship.

cover book The_United_States_Refugee_Admissions_Program
Books
May 2005

Over the past four years, the United States has resettled far fewer refugees than it did in the 1990s. The decline has stemmed partly from post-9/11 security measures. But this book explains other, deeper reasons, deriving from changes in how and why refugees move, how asylum states receive them, and the world community's response. It also suggests steps to restore the program and better address real refugee needs.