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Illinois Immigration Trends & Statistics

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on October 26, 2015

There are approximately 38.5 million immigrants in the United States, meaning that approximately one out of every eight people in the United States in an immigrant. In Illinois, that ratio of immigrants to non-immigrants is slightly lower. The state is home to 1.74 million immigrants, meaning that one out of seven Illinois residents is an immigrant. The large majority of these immigrants – about 1.59 million people – call the Chicagoland metropolitan area their home.

The data comes from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and is primarily pulled from the US Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey.

If you, a loved one or a current or prospective employee wants to immigrate to the area, a Chicago immigration lawyer can explain your legal options, help you understand the process and help you obtain a visa.

Chicago Immigration Statistics

Chicago is a popular destination for the state’s immigrants. More than half of Illinois’s foreign-born residents – about 1.09 million – reside in Cook County; of those, 588,000 live within the city limits. In other words, 20.6 percent of all Chicago residents, or one in five people, are born outside the United States. About 41 percent of Chicago’s immigrant population are naturalized U.S. citizens.

While the number of immigrants living within the city of Chicago may seem high, it’s actually declined from 49 percent in 1990. The ICIRR reports that many immigrants to the area are bypassing the city and instead moving to suburban and rural parts of the state.

About 52 percent of Chicago’s immigrant population consists of people born in Latin American countries. Asian immigrants account for 20.4 percent of the city’s immigrants, Europe accounts for 18.9 percent of Chicago immigrants and Africa accounts for 3.4 percent of the immigrant population. The ten most popular countries of origin for Chicago’s immigrants are:

  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • China (excluding Hong Kong or Taiwan)
  • Philippines
  • India
  • Ecuador
  • Guatemala
  • Ukraine
  • Korea
  • Iraq

When looking at the entire state’s immigrant population, Iraq and Ecuador fall from the list, while Germany and Pakistan are added.

Illinois Immigration Statistics

Nationwide, immigrants accounted for 29 percent of the population growth between 2000 and 2009. In contrast, immigrants to Illinois accounted for 43 percent of the state’s population growth during that same period. In fact, the state ranks sixth (behind California, New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey) in terms of the total number of immigrants received.

About one-third of Illinois’s counties (30 out of 102) saw their immigrant population double between the 1990 and 2000 census. Of those, Cass County, which is located in the central western part of the state, saw its immigrant population increase 1141 percent during that period. The growth is largely attributed to an increase in demand for workers at local food processing plants.

A Chicago Immigration Lawyer for All Your Immigration Needs

If you, your family or your business needs assistance obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas to the United States, contact the Chicago immigration lawyers at The Shapiro Law Group. Call us today at (847) 564-0712 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your family or your business’s immigration needs.