Important 2008 statistics about immigration

The Migration Information Institute has published “Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States.” Here are selections from the report:
What share do the foreign born compose of the total US civilian labor force? Of the 156.2 million workers engaged in the US civilian labor force in 2008, immigrants accounted for 15.7 percent (24.5 million). Between 1970 and 2008, the percentage of foreign-born workers in the US civilian labor force nearly tripled, from 5.3 to 15.7 percent. Over the same period, the percent of foreign born in the total population grew from 4.8 to 12.5 percent.
What kinds of jobs do employed immigrants have?
Of the 23.1 million civilian employed foreign born age 16 and older in 2008, 28.1 percent worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 23.4 percent worked in service occupations; 18.0 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 1.9 percent worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; 16.1 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 12.5 percent worked in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations.
Among the 123.2 million civilian employed native born age 16 and older, 36.2 percent worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 16.0 percent worked in service occupations; 26.9 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 0.5 percent worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; 11.8 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 8.7 percent worked in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations.


How many immigrants are in the United States today?
According to the US Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, there were 37,960,935 foreign born in the United States, 12.5 percent of the total US population.
“Foreign born” and “immigrants” are used interchangeably and refer to persons with no US citizenship at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, persons on certain temporary visas, and the unauthorized.
The share of foreign born in the US reached a record low of 4.7 percent in 1970 (9.6 million individuals). However, since 1970, the percentage has risen rapidly, mainly due to large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia.
In 1980, according to the US Census Bureau, the foreign born represented 6.2 percent (14.1 million individuals) of the total US population. By 1990, their share had risen to 7.9 percent (19.8 million individuals) and, by the 2000 census, they made up 11.1 percent (31.1 million individuals) of the total US population.
Which countries had the largest share of immigrants in 2008 compared with those in 1960?
Mexican-born immigrants accounted for 30.1 percent of all foreign born residing in the United States in 2008, by far the largest immigrant group in the United States.
The Philippines accounted for 4.4 percent of all foreign born, followed by India and China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) with 4.3 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
These four countries — together with Vietnam (3.0 percent), El Salvador (2.9 percent), Korea (2.7 percent), Cuba (2.6 percent), Canada (2.2 percent), and the Dominican Republic (2.0 percent) — made up 57.7 percent of all foreign born residing in the United States in 2008.
How many immigrants are naturalized US citizens?
Just over two in five (43.0 percent) immigrants in the United States in 2008 were naturalized US citizens. The remaining 57.0 percent of immigrants included lawful permanent residents, unauthorized immigrants, and legal residents on temporary visas, such as students and temporary workers.
How many immigrants are of Hispanic origin?
In 2008, 46.9 percent of the 38.0 million foreign born reported Hispanic or Latino origins.
How many Hispanics are immigrants?
Of the 46.9 million people in 2008 who identified themselves as having Hispanic or Latino ancestry, nearly two-thirds (62.0 percent) were native-born US citizens. The remaining 38.0 percent of Hispanics were immigrants.
What percentage of the foreign born are limited English proficient (LEP)?
In 2008, 52.1 percent of the 37.7 million foreign born age 5 and older were LEP.
Which languages does the US population* speak?
In 2008, 80.3 percent of the entire US population age 5 and older said they speak only English at home. The remaining 19.7 percent or 55.8 million people reported speaking a variety of foreign languages.** Of them, Spanish was by far the most commonly spoken language (61.9 percent), followed by Chinese (4.4 percent), Tagalog (2.7 percent), French (including Cajun, 2.4 percent), Vietnamese (2.1 percent), and German (2.0 percent).
How many Mexican immigrants are in the United States?
In 2008, there were 11.4 million foreign born from Mexico residing in the United States according to the 2008 American Community Survey. Mexican immigrants accounted for 30.1 percent of all immigrants in the United States in 2008.
How many Mexican-born workers were in the US labor force in 2008?
About 71.5 percent of the 10.6 million immigrants from Mexico age 16 and older were in the civilian labor force in 2008 compared to 68.7 percent of the 35.7 million immigrants age 16 and older from all countries and 64.9 percent of the 203.0 million native born age 16 and older.
How has the emigration rate from Mexico changed over time?
According to Mexico’s National Survey of Occupations and Employment (ENOE), the emigration rate from Mexico appears to have slowed recently from 10.1 migrants per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2006-2007 to 7.9 per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2007-2008 to 6.2 per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2008-2009 (see Figure 1).
From which areas/regions do Mexican migrants residing in the United States originate?
According to the only currently available estimate, in 2003, one-third of Mexican-born migrants residing in the United States originated from just three states: Jalisco (13.7 percent), Michoacán (10.7 percent), and Guanajuato (9.3 percent) (see Map 1). In 1990, these three states accounted for 34.7 percent of Mexican migrants to the United States (16.8 percent from Jalisco, 10.5 percent from Michoacán, and 7.4 percent from Guanajuato).
How many immigrants have health insurance?
According to recent MPI estimates, immigrants accounted for 29 percent of the 46.6 million working-age adults and children under 18 with no health insurance in 2008. Of these 13.4 million uninsured immigrants, about half (6.8 million) were unauthorized immigrants, almost a third (4.2 million) were lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and another 17 percent (2.3 million) were naturalized citizens.
Unauthorized working-age adults (ages 18 to 64) were about three times more likely to be uninsured (59 percent) than either naturalized citizens (20 percent) or native-born US citizens (16 percent).
What are the top five states in terms of the number of immigrants, share of immigrants in the total state population, absolute growth, and percent growth between 1990 and 2000 and between 2000 and 2008?
In 2008, the top five US states by the number of immigrants were California (9,859,027), New York (4,236,768), Texas (3,887,224), Florida (3,391,511), and Illinois (1,782,423).
When classified by the share of immigrants in the total state population, the top five states in 2008 were California (26.8 percent), New York (21.7 percent), New Jersey (19.8 percent), Nevada (18.9 percent), and Florida (18.5 percent).
What are the top 10 US counties in terms of number of immigrants, share of immigrants in the total county population, absolute growth, and percent growth between 2000 and 2008?
In 2008, the top 10 counties by the number of immigrants were Los Angeles County, California (3,470,000); Miami-Dade County, Florida (1,196,000); Cook County, Illinois (1,117,000); Queens County, New York (1,087,000); Harris County, Texas (988,000); Kings County, New York (938,000); Orange County, California (904,000); San Diego County, California (663,000); Maricopa County, Arizona (651,000); and Santa Clara County, California (650,000).
When classified by the share of immigrants in the total county population, the top 10 counties in 2008 were Miami-Dade County, Florida (49.9 percent); Queens County, New York (47.4 percent); Hudson County, New Jersey (40.2 percent); Santa Clara County, California (36.8 percent); Kings County, New York (36.7 percent); Los Angeles County, California (35.2 percent); San Francisco County, California (35.0 percent); San Mateo County, California (34.2 percent); Bronx County, New York (32.7 percent); and Imperial County, California (32.0 percent).
How many children in the United States have immigrant parents?
In 2008, there were about 16.3 million children age 17 and under with at least one immigrant parent. They accounted for 23.2 percent of the 70 million children age 17 and under in the United States.
The 13.9 million second-generation children — those who were born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent — accounted for 85.6 percent of all children with immigrant parents. The remaining 14.4 percent (2.3 million) are children born outside the United States to foreign-born parents.
What are the top five states when looking at the share of children with immigrant parents in the state’s total child population?
In terms of share of children with immigrant parents, the top five states in 2008 were California (49.6 percent of all children in the state), Nevada (37.0 percent), New York (34.1 percent), Texas (32.8 percent), and New Jersey (32.3 percent).
How many foreigners (in all categories) obtained US lawful permanent residence in 2008?
In 2008, 1,107,126 foreign nationals became lawful permanent residents (LPRs) (also known as green-card holders) according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2008. The total number represents a 5.2 percent increase from 2007 (1,052,415) and a 31.6 percent increase from 2000 (841,002).
Of the 1.1 million new green-card holders, 466,558 (42.1 percent) were new arrivals who entered the country in 2008, and 640,568 (57.9 percent) were status adjusters. The status adjusters arrived in the United States in any year before 2008, but their green card applications were approved during 2008.
In which categories did permanent immigrants enter in 2008?
Of the 1.1 million new LPRs in 2008, 44.1 percent were immediate relatives of a US citizen, 20.5 percent came through a family-sponsored preference, and 15.0 percent entered through an employment-based preference. Another 15.0 percent adjusted from a refugee or asylee status, and 5.2 percent were diversity-lottery winners.
From which countries did permanent immigrants originate?
Disaggregated by country of birth, 17.2 percent of LPRs were from Mexico. The top five countries of birth — Mexico, China (7.3 percent), India (5.7 percent), the Philippines (4.9 percent), and Cuba (4.5 percent) — accounted for 39.5 percent of all persons who received LPR status in 2008.
How many unauthorized immigrants are in the United States?
According to Pew Hispanic Center estimates, there were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008. The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007. However, this finding is inconclusive because of the margin of error in the estimates, which are based on data from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 50,000 households each month.
The flow of unauthorized immigrants grew more slowly (by about 500,000 per year) between 2005 and 2008 than it did between 2000 and 2004, when the flow grew by about 800,000 per year. Reversing a long-term trend, the flow of unauthorized immigrants fell below the flow of lawful permanent residents between 2005 and 2008.
Unauthorized immigrants made up 30 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population, about 4 percent of the entire US population, and 5.4 percent of US workers. Approximately 44 percent of the nation’s unauthorized immigrants have arrived since 2000. About three-quarters (76 percent) of the 11.9 million unauthorized immigrant population were of Hispanic origin.
Where are unauthorized immigrants from?
The vast majority of unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico and Latin America: 59 percent from Mexico, 11 percent from Central America, 7 percent from South America, and 4 percent from the Caribbean. An additional 12 percent are from South and East Asia, while the rest come from other areas of the world.
How many children have unauthorized immigrant parents?
About 5.5 million children in 2008 had at least one parent who was an unauthorized immigrant, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Of this group, 73 percent (4.0 million) were US citizens by birth and 27 percent (1.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants themselves. The number of US-citizen children with unauthorized immigrant parents has grown 48 percent since 2003, when there were just 2.7 million such children. At the same time, the number of children who are unauthorized immigrants has remained at about 1.5 million since 2005.
In 2008, children of unauthorized immigrants, both those who are unauthorized immigrants themselves and US citizens, made up 6.8 percent of the students enrolled in US elementary and secondary schools according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
How has illegal immigration responded to the economic crisis in the United States?
Research in the United States and other countries indicates that along with temporary migrant workers, flows of unauthorized immigrants are most closely linked to the economy, and thus the ones most likely to fall in poor economic times.
US population survey data show that while the annual number of new arrivals from Mexico — the largest source of illegal immigration to the United States — was about 650,000 between March 2004 and March 2005, and 420,000 between March 2007 and March 2008, the estimated annual inflow dropped to just 175,000 between March 2008 and March 2009, which is the lowest total this decade. This finding is reinforced by US Border Patrol apprehensions data and Mexican government surveys.
A second central story is that even now — nearly two years into the recession — return migration remains the exception and not the rule. There has been virtually no change in return flows to Mexico despite the fact that unemployment rates for Mexican and Central American immigrants in the United States have nearly doubled from 6.4 percent in December 2007 to 11.5 percent in August 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How many apprehensions were there in 2008?
There were nearly 800,000 apprehensions in 2008. The overwhelming majority, 97 percent, were along the Southwest border. The total number of alien apprehensions reported by the Department of Homeland Security steadily increased during the 1990s, from 1,169,939 apprehensions in 1990 to 1,814,729 apprehensions in 2000. Since 2000, the number of apprehensions has declined steadily, numbering 960,756 in 2007 and 791,568 in 2008. The 2008 figure is the lowest since 1989 and the second lowest since 1982.
How many people were deported in 2008?
The United States deported almost 1.2 million aliens in 2008. The total number of aliens deported follows a similar trend to apprehensions, rising from 1,052,572 in 1990 to 1,864,343 in 2000 before declining to 1,170,149 in 2008.
However, the number of removals (forced deportations) rose throughout the period from 30,039 in 1990 to 188,467 in 2000 and 358,886 in 2008. By contrast, voluntary returns first increased over the period, from 1,022,522 in 1990 to 1,675,876 in 2000, but they declined to 811,263 in 2008 (see Figure 3).
How much does the government spend on immigration control and enforcement?
Funding for the US Border Patrol, then part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the Department of Justice, increased 519 percent between 1986 and 2002, from $268 million to $1.6 billion. The Border Patrol budget was more than $3.5 billion in 2008 according to the Office of Management and Budget. The Border Patrol is responsible for enforcing 8,000 miles of US land and water boundaries between legal points of entry (designated points where immigration officials can regulate entry).
Following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the Border Patrol became part of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency within DHS.
CBP’s responsibilities also include regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, enforcing US trade laws, and protecting US agricultural and economic interests from pests and diseases.
According to DHS annual budgets from various years, the total CBP budget (gross discretionary and mandatory, fees, and trust funds) was $5.9 billion in 2003. The agency’s budget increased 32 percent to $7.7 billion in 2007 and another 20 percent to $9.3 billion in 2008. In 2009, it rose to $11.3 billion, and President Barack Obama has requested $11.4 billion for 2010.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the investigative branch of DHS and is responsible for enforcing immigration laws. In 2003, the total budget for ICE was $3.3 billion, which rose 44 percent to $4.7 billion in 2007 and another 8 percent to $5.1 billion in 2008 (gross discretionary and mandatory, fees, and trust funds). In 2009, it increased to $5.9 billion, and the president has requested $5.8 billion for 2010.
Two of ICE’s four main offices have immigration responsibilities: the Office of Detentions and Removal Operations (DRO) and the Office of Investigations (OI).
DRO processes, detains, and removes criminal aliens, unauthorized immigrants, and nonimmigrants who have violated immigration laws (such as being legally resident but working without authorization). In 2008, DRO’s budget was $2.2 billion (including discretionary and mandatory spending), about 56 percent of ICE’s total budget. In 2009, it is expected to rise to $3.1 billion, or about 59 percent of ICE’s total budget.
How many Border Patrol agents are there?
The number of Border Patrol agents has nearly doubled from approximately 9,000 in 2001 to 17,499 in 2008.
How many foreign born are naturalized citizens?
Of the 38 million foreign born in the United States in 2008, 16.3 million (43.0 percent) were naturalized citizens according to 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates.
How many immigrants naturalized in 2008?
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalized 1,046,539 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in 2008.
From a historical perspective, the number of naturalizations increased dramatically in recent decades. On average, between 1970 and 1979, 141,000 LPRs naturalized each year. The average annual number of naturalizations rose to about 205,000 in the 1980s, 498,000 in the 1990s, and 629,000 on average each year for the 2000-2008 period.
There was a 58 percent increase in the number of naturalizations between 2007 and 2008 from 660,477 to 1,046,539. A few factors explain the increase.
One was the 2008 presidential elections, which immigrant advocacy groups used in their ongoing campaigns to promote naturalization. Another was the 80 percent increase in naturalization fees (from $330 to $595) scheduled for the end of July 2007 and announced in January 2007.
How many foreigners became US citizens through military naturalization?
Between September 2001 and March 2009, 47,481 foreign-born military personnel have naturalized on US soil, overseas, or on board Navy ships. Of those, 2,655 were naturalized in ceremonies in Iraq.
What are the countries of origin of newly naturalized citizens?
Of those who naturalized in 2008, 22.2 percent were born in Mexico (231,815), 6.3 percent in India (65,971), and 5.6 percent in the Philippines (58,792). Nationals of these three countries, together with those from China (40,017), Cuba (39,871), Vietnam (39,584), El Salvador (35,796), the Dominican Republic (35,252), Colombia (22,926), and Korea (22,759), accounted for 56.6 percent (592,782) of all naturalizations in 2008.

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