U.S. immigration/migration - statistics & facts
Facts and statistics about U.S. immigration and migration
Immigration is the act of non-native people moving to a country in order to permanently settle there. Motives for immigration are varied and often divided into two main categories: push factors are those factors that drive people away from their home country, such as persecution, poverty and oppression; pull factors are those that pull people towards their target country, such as family reunification, better education or employment opportunities.
The United States has a long history with immigration with the vast majority of the current population coming from some form of immigrant background – that being all American’s other than those who are American Indian or Alaska Native. The economic strength of the United States, alongside the mammoth degree of soft power possessed by the country, means that demand for so-called ‘green cards’ (permanent residence visas) is high. Since 2007, the United States has approved around 1 million green cards per year. Nearly one fifth of the permanent residency approvals in 2014 were for persons residing in California.
Despite the United States weaving the features of hard working immigrants escaping oppression in Europe into the fabric of their national identity, immigration is a divisive political issue. At the center of the public debate is illegal immigration. Although the amount of illegal immigrants apprehended has fallen since a peak at the turn of the millennium, U.S. officials still apprehended 679,996 people in 2014. Due to the economic disparities between Mexico and the United States, as well as the shared border, illegal immigration from Mexico accounts for the highest amount of illegal immigration into the United States.
Illegal immigration is not the only immigration source to have been brought into the political discourse in recent years. The refugee policies of the United States have also been questioned by both members of the public and political leaders. Despite the intense degree of vetting required to successfully obtain refugee status in the United States, a high proportion of Americans felt that taking in refugees from Syria would make the country less safe in March 2016.
In part acting on campaign pledges thrust upon him during the Republican Party primaries, President Donald Trump banned the acceptance of refugees from Syria by way of executive order in March 2017. The issue of resettling refugees from Syria is highly polarized between those who identify as Democrats and those who identify as Republicans. In April 2017, 67% of Democrats believed the U.S. has a responsibility to resettle refugees from Syria. The corresponding figure for Republicans sat in stark contrast at 22%.
Photo: istockphoto.com / photomorphic
|Number of persons naturalized in the U.S. in 2014||653,416||Details →|
|Refugees and asylum seekers||Statistic|
|Number of refugees who arrived in the U.S. in 2014||69,975||Details →|
|Number of individuals granted asylum in the U.S. affirmatively and defensively in 2014||23,533||Details →|
|Number of illegal aliens apprehended in the U.S. in 2014||679,996||Details →|
|Number of illegal aliens removed from the U.S. in 2014||414,481||Details →|
|Estimated number of illegal immigrants from Mexico in 2012||6.72 million||Details →|
|California is the state with the most unauthorized immigrants||3.02 million||Details →|
- Number of green cards in the United States from 1990 to 2014Number of green cards in the United States from 1990 to 2014
Number of persons obtaining legal permanent resident status in the U.S. from 1990 to 2014 (in millions)
- Refugees arriving in the U.S. from 1990 to 2014Refugees arriving in the U.S. from 1990 to 2014
Number of refugees arriving in the U.S. from 1990 to 2014
- Largest immigration countries 2010+Largest immigration countries 2010
Number of immigrants in the top ten immigration countries in 2010 (in millions)
- Largest emigration countries+Largest emigration countries
Number of emigrants of the ten largest emigration countries in 2010 (in millions)
- Largest migration flows - countries+Largest migration flows - countries
Ranking of the ten largest migration flows between countries in 2010 (in million migrants)
- Estimated migration balance by continent 2015Estimated migration balance by continent 2015
Estimated migration balance (immigrants minus emigrants) of different continents between 2010 and 2015 (in millions)
- Asylum applications in the European Union (EU) in 2016, by countryAsylum applications in the European Union (EU) in 2016, by country
- Italy: immigrants in reception centers 2013-2017Italy: immigrants in reception centers 2013-2017
- Italy: migrant arrivals monthly 2015-2017Italy: migrant arrivals monthly 2015-2017
- Non-Western population of the Netherlands in 2016, by backgroundNon-Western population of the Netherlands in 2016, by background
- Migration in Europe, by country 2015Migration in Europe, by country 2015