HomeUS Visa & ImmigrationImmigrants Make Up Over 18% of the Whole US Inhabitants Development

Immigrants Make Up Over 18% of the Whole US Inhabitants Development

Written by Robin Lundh, Analysis Supervisor and Anna Shepperson, Analysis Affiliate.

Immigration—lengthy central to the American expertise—has dominated information protection in recent times. Between 2016 and 2021 alone, report numbers of migrants arrived on the southern border; the Trump administration imposed journey bans on a number of Center Jap international locations; immigrants performed important roles as important staff within the COVID-19 pandemic; and the Biden administration referred to as on Congress to reform decades-old immigration legal guidelines, to call only a few points which have taken central stage.

The American Immigration Council’s Map the Impression, an annual evaluation of U.S. immigration information, reveals notable shifts throughout this five-year interval within the demographics of foreign-born residents and the way they proceed to make vital contributions to the American financial system.

Inhabitants Shifts

Between 2016 and 2021, the immigrant inhabitants in the USA grew by 3.7%, or 1.6 million individuals. This accounted for 18.3% of the whole inhabitants achieve within the nation.

On the similar time, some immigrant sub-groups shrank. The variety of refugees dwelling in the USA decreased by 6.4%. The variety of undocumented immigrants fell by 9.2%, whereas DACA-eligible residents dropped by 27.3%.

The place immigrants are coming from can also be shifting. The highest international locations of origin amongst immigrant residents remained fixed, with Mexico, India, China, Philippines, and El Salvador being the most typical birthplaces. However whereas those that had been born in Mexico nonetheless occupied the most important share of immigrants in America, they nonetheless skilled the most important inhabitants decline.

In 2016, individuals from Mexico comprised 26.5% of the immigrant inhabitants in the USA. By 2021, their quantity had dropped by 856,000 individuals and so they comprised simply 23.7% of the immigrant inhabitants.

Immigrants from Venezuela, in the meantime, noticed a big enhance, as escalating political and financial turmoil has pushed individuals to flee their dwelling nation. In the USA, the variety of immigrants from Venezuela rose by 260,000 individuals—a 92.5% enhance from 5 years earlier.

The variety of immigrants from Gambia additionally practically doubled. The addition of 11,300 Gambians represented a 94.6% enhance. In the meantime, immigrants from India had the most important whole enhance in inhabitants—279,000 individuals—throughout this five-year interval.

Geographic Distribution

Whereas California remained dwelling to essentially the most immigrants—with about 10.5 million immigrants, or 26.7% of the state’s whole inhabitants—Texas noticed the most important enhance, with an extra 391,000 immigrants dwelling within the state in 2021.

Earlier experiences have already famous altering patterns of migration to rural areas and non-traditional immigrant states, and the current information displays that shift. For instance, North Dakota skilled the quickest progress in its immigrant inhabitants, of 54.1%. The addition of virtually 13,000 immigrant residents meant that immigrants comprised 4.8% of the state’s inhabitants, up from 3.2% in 2016.

Immigrants within the Labor Drive

Immigrants proceed to play an outsized function within the labor power, not solely filling roles vacated by child boomers but additionally plugging rising gaps in jobs important to the wellbeing of all Individuals, reminiscent of healthcare.

As a result of immigrants usually tend to be of working age than U.S.-born residents, they proceed to make up a bigger share of the workforce. With the newborn increase technology growing old out of the workforce, this youthful immigrant inhabitants will change into much more vital.

In 2021, 78.0% of foreign-born residents had been of working age, in contrast with simply 61.4% of U.S.-born residents. In consequence, 17.1% of individuals energetic within the labor power had been foreign-born, despite the fact that foreign-born individuals comprised simply 13.6% of the general inhabitants.

The important function of immigrants was significantly pronounced in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, which noticed an unprecedented want for healthcare staff, a lot of whom are immigrants. Immigrants had been overrepresented as nurses—making up 15.2% of all nurses nationally. In 5 states, multiple out of each 4 nurses had been immigrants: California (36.1%); Nevada (32.2%); New Jersey (29.7%); Florida (27.0%); and New York (26.5%).

A disproportionate variety of well being aides had been immigrants as nicely, and their share is rising. From 2016 to 2021, the share of well being aides that had been immigrants elevated from 23.3% to 25.8%. In New York state, greater than half of all well being aides (54.9%) had been immigrants in 2021.

The occupations with the very best share of foreign-born staff in 2021 had been: manicurists and pedicurists (74.6%); graders and sorters of agricultural merchandise (57.5%); plasterers and stucco masons (56.0%); taxi drivers (54.4%); and drywall and ceiling tile installers (53.2%).

Immigrants additionally fill roles which might be important to U.S. job creation and progress. Whereas a extreme scarcity of staff specialised in STEM (science, know-how, engineering, and math) fields threatens U.S. financial progress and worldwide competitiveness, immigrants assist meet the demand for expert labor. In 2021, 22.8% of all STEM staff in the USA had been foreign-born. This equated to 2.7 million immigrant STEM staff, a 29.7% enhance from 2016.


Immigrants have lengthy had a powerful entrepreneurial spirit, and their function as enterprise founders seems to be rising. In 2021, 22.2% of all entrepreneurs in the USA had been foreign-born, a rise from 21.4% in 2016. Which means that an extra 358,000 foreign-born entrepreneurs had been added to the nation over these 5 years. In whole, immigrant enterprise house owners generated $95.6 trillion in earnings, or $15 billion greater than in 2016 after taking inflation under consideration.

In some states, the share of entrepreneurs who had been immigrants in 2021 was significantly excessive, reminiscent of California (38.9%), Florida (36.2%), New Jersey (35.0%), and Texas (30.8%).

Tax Contributions and Spending Energy

Immigrants additionally proceed to play a significant function in shaping our financial system as taxpayers and customers.

The entire earnings of immigrant households elevated by 24.1%, from $1.56 trillion (adjusted to the 2021 greenback) to $1.94 trillion. Of this, immigrants paid greater than $346.3 billion in federal taxes in 2021 ($49.4 billion greater than in 2016) and greater than $178.4 billion in mixed state and native taxes, cash used to assist pay for healthcare, police, roads, colleges, and different public companies important to all Individuals. Equally, the earnings of households led by undocumented immigrants elevated by 13.2%, leading to $18.9 billion in federal taxes paid in 2021.

Naturalization and Voting

The power of immigrants to impression the result of elections continues to develop. Whereas 47.6% of immigrants had been naturalized residents in 2016, 52.5% had been in 2021. On the similar time, because the inhabitants aged into maturity, the variety of immigrants eligible to vote elevated by nearly 3 million individuals.

The information cycle tends to hyperlink immigration points with crises: financial and political upheaval overseas; border crossings; journey bans. However analyzing the information offers us one other image: one of many persevering with and evolving function immigrants play in our nation’s financial and civic wellbeing. As the newest Map the Impression exhibits, the immigrant inhabitants in the USA is rising and its migration patterns are shifting—modifications all seen all through the historical past of immigration on this nation. Map the Impression additionally supplies particulars on different constants: the methods wherein immigrants fill important roles within the labor market, open companies, and contribute billions of {dollars} in taxes and client spending in our communities.

As the USA shifts in its personal methods—a shrinking workforce, an growing old inhabitants that strains the healthcare system, colleges that battle to satisfy labor-market calls for—immigrants proceed to fill the gaps and drive the innovation wanted to make America succeed.



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