Immigrant Facts

Whether you are an immigrant or just someone interested in the US immigration process, you may be interested to know these immigration facts:

  1. US immigrants fill in many jobs that are required for the well-being of the US economy and the demand for US immigrant labor is expected to grow. By 2026, the US government shortage predicts that there will be a shortage of 20 million workers, making immigration even more essential for the economy.
  2. Immigration levels overall have declined since the early 20th century. This has coincided with new rules for immigration and tightening borders. In the early 20th century, the US population was much smaller but the country allowed a much higher percentage of immigrants to enter the country.
  3. According to a report issued by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, immigrants generate about $80 000 more in revenues and taxes than they receive in public benefits over the span of their lifetimes, making them a bonus for the economy. The Council of Economic Advisers reached a similar conclusion about the benefits of immigrants to the US economy in 2007.
  4. According to, the average immigrant uses less than half the money value of health care when compared to the average US citizen born in the US. The average immigrant is also far less likely to rely on other social assistance, including food stamps. In fact, about 60% of eligible US residents overall got food stamps in 2002, compared with only 5% of non-citizens eligible for the program.
  5. According to a University of Illinois study, even undocumented immigrants contribute to the US economy. In the Chicago area alone in 2001, undocumented workers spent $2.89 billion and caused $5.45 billion in additional spending. These immigrants also contributed 31,908 jobs that year to Chicago’s economy.
  6. According to a study by the University of Arizona immigrant costs were $1.41 billion in 2004, while that same year immigrants contributed $1.64 billion in taxes in the state.
  7. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), immigrants have lower incarceration rates when compared with those who are born in the US.
  8. In 2006, there were 1.3 million green card holders in the US. Although the numbers of undocumented workers are harder to calculate, some experts have estimated these numbers from the low millions to 10 million. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the number of undocumented immigrants in the US grows by about 500 000 a year.