Immigration has become far more central in the public conversation in the United States, typically the topic of political controversy, dueling statistics, and perceptions that often are at a significant lag to changing realities on the ground.
By Jeanne Batalova, Brittany Blizzard, and Jessica Bolter
To this latter point: It has yet to be widely recognized that the immigrant population is growing far more slowly than in recent years, and that the unauthorized population has peaked and may even have declined.
The makeup of the foreign-born population is also changing: New arrivals in the United States are more likely to be from Asia and less likely to be from than other world regions, and they are on average more educated than previous generations of migrants to the United States. The Mexican immigrant population in the United States has declined by half a million people since the beginning of the decade. And in 2018, the United States ceded its status as the world’s top country for resettling refugees, surpassed by Canada.
Seeking to inform conversations around immigration, this Spotlight offers answers to some of the most frequently asked immigration-related questions, drawing on the most authoritative, current data available about the 44.7 million immigrants residing in the United States as of 2018.
Among the questions it answers: Who is immigrating to the United States today and from where? How many people arrive in the country through the various immigration channels? Do they speak English? Where do they live and work? How many immigrants become U.S. citizens? How many apply and receive asylum in the United States?