USA – Foreign-Born Population Percentage by State

In the last two centuries the United States has been one of the nations with the most immigrants. To understand this phenomenon it is enough to mention one fact: from 1835 to 1914, before the First World War, there were more than 30 million immigrants from Europe alone. In this new article we will deepen this topic. We will first see the 20 states in America with the highest percentage of population born abroad. Then we will deepen the topic with different macro data. Enjoy reading the article: USA – Foreign-Born Population Percentage by State.

Top 20 States by Foreign-Born Population Percentage (1850/2018)

In 2018 the states with the most people born abroad are California, New York and New Jersey. Of the total population in California, more than 1/4 were born abroad (26.9% of the total). In New York, on the other hand, 22.6% and in New Jersey 22.2%. On a national level the average is 13%.

If we go to see the first 3 states in 1850 the data are very different. Except for California and New York which already had 23.5% and 21.2%, the state with the most people born not in the US was Wisconsin. Winsconsin in fact had 36.2% of the total number of people not born in the US. Minnesota followed with 32.5%. But even more interesting is the year 1870. Background: this is the first year in which the Arizona data were found. It is interesting to note that Arizona and Idaho had more than half of the population born in a country other than the United States of America.

The percentage of population born abroad in the US

Is immigration to the United States a “new” phenomenon? Absolutely not. In 1890 15 out of 100 people living in the US were born in another country. From 1860 to 1920 more than 13 people out of 100 were born abroad. A figure that began to fall from 1920 onwards. The lowest peak was recorded in 1970. From the 1970s onwards, however, the figure rose again, reaching 12.9 in 2010. A growing figure but still lower than in the years from 1860 to 1920.

Obviously, while in percentage terms the data for 2010 are lower than the last decades of the nineteenth century, in absolute terms they are more. This is because, as easy to guess, the population in the US has increased in its total. From 127 million in 1935, the United States today has more than 328 million inhabitants. An increase in less than 100 years of more than 150% of the total population.

Where do immigrants come from in the US?

While most of the new American residents were born in Europe or Canada in 1960, by 2016 the figure had dropped to 13%. The distribution has become more heterogeneous. The largest source is in South and East Asia, with 27%. Mexico followed with 26%. Other Latin America with 25% and others with the rest. Especially from the 1970s onwards the drop in Europeans and Canadians has been very high. While the increase in the number of people from Mexico rose particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as from Asia.

Links and useful articles

This article only wants to explain the phenomenon of immigration. Racist, xenophobic or other comments are not accepted.

Source:; Statista; Wikipedia;

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