Foreign-born Population in the US Reaches New High

In 2017, the number of people born overseas and now living in the US grew to its highest level in more than 100 hundred years, according to data from the Census Bureau, published on Thursday (September 13, 2018). The number of US residents increased to as much as 44.5 million last year, a rise of 1.8% from 2016.

The Trump administration has made it clear that it wishes to put more restrictions on legal immigration and has also increased efforts to have undocumented immigrants detained and then deported from the US since Donald Trump became President in January 2017. But, Migration Policy Institute demographer, Randy Capps, says legal immigration has not yet been much restricted and that the strong job market in the country was likely part of the reason for the increase in the immigrant population last year.

In 2017, 13.7% of the population of the US was foreign-born residents, a rise from the 2016 figure of 13.5%, estimates from the Census Bureau suggest. Those figures represent the highest proportion of foreign-born immigrants in the US since 1910 when immigrants constituted 14.7% of the populace.

According to the data, Asians or university graduates make up an increasing number of the new immigrants, continuing a more than ten-year trend which has seen a slowdown in Mexican immigration. The share of immigrants from Mexico in 2017 fell from 26.5% the previous year to 25.3%.