Iraqi Immigrants in the United States

Aaron Terrazas
Date of Publication: 
March, 2009
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

The number of Iraqi immigrants in the United States tripled between 1980 and 2007 to 102,000. Most of this growth occurred during the 1990s. Although the U.S. has committed to accepting increasing numbers of Iraqi refugees, the number admitted from Iraq was still below 2000 levels until 2008. 

The Iraqi-born tend to have a similar demographic and socioeconomic profile to the overall foreign-born population, but they are more concentrated in certain areas: Michigan and California.

This Spotlight focuses on Iraqi immigrants, examining the population's size, geographic distribution, socioeconomic characteristics and admission categories using data from the US Census Bureau's 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2000 Decennial Census, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) for 2007.

For comparison, an earlier 2003 Spotlight is available.

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Terrazas, A. (2009). Iraqi Immigrants in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from