Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

Jeanne Batalova, Mary Hanna & Christopher Levesque
Date of Publication: 
February, 2021
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

The year 2020 was a momentous one for U.S. immigration, marking the last year of an administration that had a nearly unprecedented focus on reducing immigration, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically chilled travel and migration to the United States and around the world. Even prior to 2020, the immigrant population in the United States already had been growing at much slower rates than a decade ago. And origins for recent arrivals were shifting, with more new immigrants coming from Asia than other regions. The year had other notable developments: The most recent estimates revealed illegal immigration was on the decline, the United States resettled the smallest number of refugees in the history of the refugee resettlement program, and nearly half of recently arrived immigrants had a bachelor’s degree or more.

To offer more context on the immigrants often at the center of political discussions, who numbered 44.9 million in 2019, this Spotlight offers information about some of the most frequently requested immigration-related issues by compiling the most authoritative and current data available. It answers questions such as: What are the historic immigration trends in the United States? Who is immigrating, and through which channels? In what occupations do immigrants work? How many immigrants become naturalized citizens? What immigration enforcement actions were taken during the year? What are income and poverty metrics, as well as health insurance coverage, for immigrants and the U.S. born alike?

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Batalova, J., Hanna, M. & Levesque, C. (2021, February 11). Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute.