43.7 Million Immigrants Living in U.S., 13.5% of Total Population

By:  Chris Chmielenski   10/20/17  NumbersUSA.com

Analysis of federal data by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that the share of the immigrant population in the United States is at its highest percentage level since the end of the Great Wave of immigration in 1910.

But the total number -- 43.7 million -- is the highest ever.

In 2016, the foreign-born population of 43.7 million was 13.5% of the total population. In 1910, that share peaked at 14.7% (with 13.6 million immigrants) before dropping dramatically after legal immigration was reduced by Congress for a period lasting about 70 years.

According to the government data, the foreign-born population grew by 500,000 between 2015 and 2016, while the overall population in the United States grew by about 2.2 million.

But just counting the foreign-born population doesn't show immigration's full impact on total growth.

According to CIS, more than 16.6 million U.S.-born children under 18 had an immigrant parent in 2016.

Family-based chain migration continues to drive legal immigration and overall population growth in the United States. The government has yet to release chain migration data for 2016, but in 2015, a quarter-million immigrants were issued green cards through the family chain categories.

Earlier this week, we were pleased again to hear Pres. Trump calling for the need to end chain migration. On Monday, he said:

Recently, we've asked Congress to ensure that any proposed immigration reform ends chain migration. It's critical for creating a system that puts American workers and the American taxpayer first.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, in light of the Trump administration's immigration principles, Congress has the opportunity to do "something historic".


Ending chain migration, which was on the administration's list of priorities, would certainly be historic in helping to end nearly 30 years of record-high legal immigration levels that have been the driver for population growth, created unnecessary job competition for American workers, particularly vulnerable workers, and put downward pressure on wages.