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Homeland Security estimates of illegal population 2007

The Department of Homeland Security released a study in September 2008 which estimated the size of the illegal population in the U.S. “In summary, an estimated 11.8 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2007 compared to 8.5 million in 2000. Between 2000 and 2007, the unauthorized population increased 3.3 million; the annual average increase during this period was 470,000. Nearly 4.2 million (35 percent) of the total 11.8 million unauthorized residents in 2007 had entered in 2000 or later. An estimated 7.0 million (59 percent) were from Mexico.” This study is consistent with Pew Hispanic Center studies from prior years, which I have posted on.


How the estimate was made:

Two populations are estimated in order to derive the unauthorized population estimates: 1) the total-foreign born population living in the United States on January 1, 2007, and 2) the legally resident population on the same date. The unauthorized population is equal to 1) minus 2). It was assumed that foreign-born residents who had entered the United States prior to 1980 were legally resident since most were eligible for legal permanent resident status.1 Therefore, the starting point for the estimates was January 1, 1980.

Overall trend:

DHS estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States increased from 8.5 million in January 2000 to 10.5 million in January 2005, 11.3 million in January 20062, and 11.8 million in January 2007 (see Figure 1). The annual average net increase in the unauthorized population during this 7-year period was 470,000

Nearly 4.2 million (35 percent) unauthorized immigrants in 2007 had entered the United States since January 1, 2000 (see Table 1). An estimated 890,000 (8 percent) came to the United States in 2005 or 2006 while 3.3 million (28 percent) came during 2000 to 2004. Forty-five percent came to live in the United States during the 1990s, and 19 percent entered during the 1980s.

The estimated number of unauthorized immigrants as of January 2007 is consistent with other unauthorized population estimates. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated the unauthorized population at 11.1 million in March 2005 and projected it would be 11.5 to
12 million by March 2006 (Passel, 2006).

Geographic source:

An estimated 8.9 million of the total 11.8 million unauthorized
immigrants living in the United States in 2007 were from the North America region, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America (see Figure 2). The next leading regions of origin were Asia (1.4 million) and South America (850,000).
The 2000 unauthorized immigrant population was similar in region of origin composition.
Mexico continued to be the leading source of unauthorized immigration to the United States (see Table 3). The estimated unauthorized immigrant population from Mexico increased from 4.7 million in 2000 to 7.0 million in January 2007. The annual
average increase in Mexican unauthorized immigration to the United States was 330,000 during the 2000-2007 period. The next leading source countries for unauthorized immigrants in 2007 were El Salvador (540,000), Guatemala (500,000), the
Philippines (290,000) and China (290,000). The top ten countries of origin represented 82 percent of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2007. Although immigration from Mexico continues to dominate unauthorized population growth, the greatest percentage increases during 2000-2007 were among immigrants from Brazil (89 percent), India
(81 percent), Guatemala (74 percent), and Honduras (70 percent).


Distributions among states, 2007 vs 2000:

State: 2007 illiegal pop, 2000 illegal pop, % of total 2007, % of total 2000, % annual change, ave annual increase

California: 2,840,000, 2,510,000, 24, 30, 13 50,000
Texas 1,710,000, 1,090,000, 14, 13, 57, 90,000
Florida 960,000, 800,000, 8, 9, 20, 20,000
New York 640,000, 540,000, 5, 6, 19, 10,000
Illinois 560,000, 440,000, 5, 5, 29, 20,000
Arizona 530,000, 330,000, 5, 4, 62, 30,000
Georgia 490,000, 220,000, 4, 3, 120, 40,000
New Jersey 470,000, 350,000, 4, 4, 32, 20,000
North Carolina 380,000, 260,000, 3, 3, 45, 20,000
Washington 260,000, 170,000, 2, 2, 53, 10,000
Other states 2,940,000, 1,750,000, 25, 21, 68, 170,000

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