As of 2014, there were 42.4 million immigrants living in the United States. This represents nearly 13.3% of the entire population. The number of immigrants making their way to the United States continues to grow. In 2014, 1.3 million individuals, 2.5% of the total immigrant population came to the country.
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While individuals come to the United States from around the globe, five nations represented the majority of immigrants in 2014:
- 147,500 came from India
- 131,800 came from China
- 130,000 came from Mexico
- 41,200 came from Canada
- 40,500 came from the Philippines
Immigrants and their families comprise an increasing share of the total US population. In 1970, the 9.6 million immigrants in America represented just 4.7% of the population. By 1990, the 19.8 million immigrants in the country accounted for 7.9% of the population. In 2014, the 42.4 million immigrants living in America represented 13.3% of the total population. Thus, there is a clear trend that has emerged over the past 45 years that shows immigration continues to grow decade after decade.
Of the total number of immigrants in 2014, 51% were female and the median age for immigrants was 43.5 years old. Less than 1% of foreign born immigrants were under the age of 5. A further 6% were between the ages of 5 and 17.
Of those who have immigrated, roughly 47% have become naturalized US citizens. Of these, 47% were naturalized as of 2000, with 34% becoming naturalized between 2000 and 2009. A further 18% completed the process between 2010 and 2014.
Immigrants come from all walks of life and with a myriad of backgrounds. Prior to 2009, 29% of immigrants over the age of 25 had obtained a Bachelor’s degree. This number continues to rise. Since 2010, 44% of new immigrants have completed a college education.
These statistics are evident within the workforce where 26.7 million immigrants account for 17% of the total civilian workforce. This is triple the percentage that existed in 1970. Of these workers, 30% work in management or other professional occupations, 17% work in sales or office positions, 13% work in natural resources, construction, or maintenance, and 15% work in production, transportation, or material moving.
Those coming to the US are seeking opportunities not available in their home countries. Many come to Illinois. From 1990 to 2000, immigration attorneys in Chicago and other communities assisted 577,000 immigrants to the state. During that period, Illinois was among the five most popular states for immigrants.