Today’s Europeans in the U.S.

From the Migration Policy Institute: Compared to the overall foreign- and native-born populations, European immigrants on average are significantly older, more educated, and have higher household incomes.

The number of Europeans in the U.S. has been remarkably stable since 1980—about five million legally residing in the country. That is about 16% of all foreign-born persons legally in the U.S. (about 32 million).  Over half of the Europeans will likely become American citizens, to be replaced by new European immigrants.

In 2016, 44% of these immigrants were from Eastern Europe, 20% from U.K./Ireland, 20% from Germany/France, and 16% from Southern Europe. Most of the figures that follow are for 2016.

New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles metropolitan areas accounted for about 31% of Europeans in the United States. 26% ages 5 and over were Limited English Proficient (speaking English lss than “very well”) compared to 49%.

The median age of European immigrants in 2016 was 53 years, compared to 44 for all immigrants and 36 for the U.S. born. European immigrants were more than twice as likely to be seniors (ages 65 and over) compared to the foreign- and U.S.-born populations.

42% had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to about 32% of the U.S. born and 30% of all immigrants. Half of all Europeans were employed in management, business, science, and arts occupations, a much higher share than the overall foreign (32%) and native-born (39%) populations. They are much more likely to obtain their green card based on employment than other immigrants (23% vs 12%).

Total remittances were about $160 billion in 2016, up from $40 billion in 2000. Dependence was high in Moldova (22% of GDP), Kosovo (16%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (11%), and Albania (10%).


133 million people who were either born in Europe or reported European ancestry, or 41% percent of all people (323 million) in the United States.

The European-origin diaspora in the United States is composed of approximately 133 million people who were either born in Europe or reported European ancestry, according to tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau 2016 ACS. The European diaspora accounts for 41 percent of the 323 million people living in the United States.

The German diaspora is the largest of all major European ethnic groups, with 14 percent of all U.S. residents, or 45 million individuals, either reporting German ancestry or having been born in Germany. 14% of the diaspora are with German origins, Ireland (11.6%) and the United Kingdom (9.8%).

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