In 2015, there were 25.7 million foreign-born workers in the U.S., making up 17.1% of the U.S. workforce. Among the major industrial sectors, the construction industry employed the highest percentage of foreign-born workers outside of agriculture. About 2.4 million construction workers, nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the industry workforce, were born in foreign countries
The majority (84.3%) of foreign-born workers in construction were born in Latin American countries in which 53.1% were born in Mexico, 6.6% in El Salvador, 5.4% in Guatemala, 4.7% in Honduras, 2.4% in Cuba, 2.1% in Ecuador, and a small percentage in other countries in that area. Europeans made up 7.3% of foreign-born workers in construction, and 6.4% came from Asia.
About 74% of foreign-born construction workers reported they were not U.S. citizens when the survey was conducted. In 2015, nearly 30% of construction workers spoke a language other than English at home. Among foreign-born construction workers, about 86% reported they spoke Spanish at home. Other languages spoken at home among foreign-born construction workers included Portuguese (1.8%), Polish (1.5%), and Russian (1.1%). In fact, less than 9% of foreign-born construction workers spoke English at home. Overall, more than 33 million workers in the U.S. spoke languages other than English at home in 2015.