Immigration, by the Numbers
Trends in migration to the U.S.
This video is part of our Kite & Key Shorts series — easy to understand ... but hard to forget.
There were over 280 million immigrants living around the world in 2020.i In other words, nearly 4% of the world’s people live in countries they weren’t born in.ii
The destination that has welcomed the most people from abroad: The United States. With over 50 million residents who were born overseas, America is home to more immigrants than all the countries in Western Europe combined.
Around 25% of immigrants to America come from Mexico, the largest share of any country.iii China is the next largest country of origin, accounting for 6% of immigrants in America. India, the Philippines, and El Salvador round out the top 5.
Where do immigrants go when they get here?
California has the highest proportion of immigrants of any state in the nation with over ¼ of its population born in a different country.iv Los Angeles County alone has nearly 3.5 million immigrants — more than double any other county in the nation.v
New Jersey, New York, and Florida each have populations that are more than 20% foreign-born.
The American state with the smallest proportion of immigrants? West Virginia (1.6%).
There are a wide variety of immigrant communities throughout the country.
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis – St. Paul have the nation’s largest Somali population. San Jose, California has the country’s highest concentration of Vietnamese immigrants.vi And Vermont has the country’s highest percentage of residents born in … Canada.
While the United States has welcomed scores of immigrants, there are still plenty of people who’d like to get in line. All told, 158 million people around the world say they would move to the United States if they could.vii
Lucky for them, there’s plenty of room.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Nearly 4% of the world’s people live in countries they weren’t born in.
- With over 50 million residents who were born overseas, America is home to more immigrants than anywhere in the world.
- California is the American state with the highest proportion of immigrants; West Virginia is the state with the lowest.
- International Migrants– Our World in Data
- World Migration Report 2020 – International Organization of Migration
- "Key Findings About U.S. Immigrants" (Abby Budiman) – Pew Research Center
- Nativity in the United States – U.S. Census Bureau
- U.S. Immigrant Population by State and County – Migration Policy Institute
- The Vietnamese Diaspora in The United States – Migration Policy Institute
- "More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate if They Could" (Neli Esipova, Anita Pugliese, Julie Ray) – Gallup
- Our World in Data
- International Organization of Migration
World Migration Report 2020
- Pew Research Center
"Key Findings About U.S. Immigrants" (Abby Budiman)
- U.S. Census Bureau
Nativity in the United States
- Migration Policy Institute
U.S. Immigrant Population by State and County
- Migration Policy Institute
The Vietnamese Diaspora in The United States
"More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate if They Could" (Neli Esipova, Anita Pugliese, Julie Ray)