The Immigration Numbers Are in—With a Big Surprise

The Census Bureau released data from the Brookings Institution
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2019 3:30 PM CDT
New Immigration Numbers Include 1 Big Surprise
Three migrants who had managed to evade National Guard and cross the Rio Grande onto U.S. territory wait for Border Patrol along a wall set back from the geographical border, in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, July 17, 2019.   (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

New immigration data includes one no-brainer—that immigration influx is down—and one possible surprise about where immigrants are choosing to live, City Lab reports. Released by the Census Bureau and gathered by a Brookings Institution demographer, the analysis says America's immigrant population grew by only 200,000 from 2017 to 2018, the lowest boost since 2010. From 2013 to 2014, for example, the foreign-born population had spiked by over a million. Experts say much of the decline can be linked to President Trump's policies and the tone of his presidency, per the New York Times last month. For more:

  • The country's foreign-born population is still at a historic high of nearly 45 million. That's 13.7% of the US population, second only to the 14.7% record in 1910, an era of high immigration.

  • The biggest decline in annual immigration is among non-US citizens from Latin America. The number of non-citizens fell by roughly 478,000 people and over half of them were Latin American.
  • The number of highly educated immigrants is rising. Study author William Frey says between 2010 and 2018, college grads comprised over 60% of the net gain in adult immigrants over age 25. Only a third of home-grown Americans have college degrees.
  • The biggest 2017-2018 immigration spikes were in cities and states that supported Trump in 2016. Immigrant numbers rose by almost 300,000 in Trump states, but only about 100,000 in states that voted for Hillary Clinton. The Rust Belt and the South had the highest influx while coastal metros and Chicago saw decline.
  • "There is continued dispersal of foreign-born residents, especially those from Asia and the more educated, to small communities and states that were carried by President Trump in the 2016 election," writes Frey.
  • Yet among the 14 states with the lowest percentage of foreign-born people, 12 went for Trump in 2016. In six of those states, Asians comprised the biggest recent immigration gains.
(More immigration stories.)

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