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The shifting demographics of US immigrants

In the 242 years since it was founded, the United States has become a destination for immigrants all over the world. The country is now known as a cultural melting pot that is home to hundreds of cultures. In fact, the U.S.’s population is now composed of 15 percent of foreign-born residents.

But what are the countries that contribute the most immigrants to the United States? The demographics of immigrants in the country has shifted significantly over the years.

Ranking countries by number of immigrants

A recent study examined this percentage to determine which countries provide most of the U.S.’s immigrant population. The Pew Research Center recently studied the demographics of immigrants currently residing in the U.S. It then ranked the countries based on their contribution of immigrants to the American population.

For nearly 20 years, Mexican immigrants have been the largest demographic of America’s foreign-born residents. As the data show, Mexico remains the number-one country from which immigrants in the U.S. hail. Mexican immigrants make up over 25 percent of America’s immigrant population.

The most significant change in statistics is that Asian nations like China, Vietnam and India have outpaced Western countries such as Canada, Cuba and Germany. For example, in 1990 China ranked fourth; in 2017, it rose to second. India climbed from 13th-place in 1990 to third-place today.

The future of immigrants in the U.S.

As the number of immigrants in the U.S. continues to rise, the topic of immigration will no doubt continue to be a hot-button issue. The demographics of future immigrants remains to be seen. The number of immigrants will likely also be subject to significant change, especially under the current administration’s crackdown against illegal immigrants and tightening of legal immigration policies.

No matter what countries immigrants come from, they are guaranteed certain rights under the United States constitution. Anyone who is considering immigrating to the U.S., is currently living in the country as a foreign national or has legal issues related to immigration is encouraged to consider their legal options.

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  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
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  • Orange County Bar Association
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