May 3, 2017

Facts on U.S. Immigrants, 2015

Statistical portrait of the foreign-born population in the United States

Characteristics of the U.S. foreign-born population: 1960-2015

There were a record 43.2 million immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015, making up 13.4% of the nation’s population. This represents a fourfold increase since 1960, when only 9.7 million immigrants lived in the U.S., accounting for just 5.4% of the total U.S. population. Click on the expand buttons below the summary tables to see detailed tables for each.

Click here for a PDF of all the tables below and read the accompanying blog post. Download the Excel workbook.

For a profile of the Hispanic population in the United States, click here.

Population/Region of Birth/Nativity/Language Use/Race
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Population (#) 9,729,147 9,744,833 14,079,460 19,682,004 31,133,481 39,916,875 43,158,110
Born in Mexico 6.0% 8.1% 15.6% 21.7% 29.4% 29.4% 26.8%
Citizen N/A 63.7% 50.4% 40.5% 40.3% 43.7% 48.0%
Speaking English at least very well (ages 5 and older) N/A N/A 57.2% 53.0% 49.0% 48.4% 51.0%
White alone, not Hispanic N/A N/A 49.3% 31.2% 22.0% 18.7% 18.1%
Age/Gender/Marital Status/Fertility
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Median age (in years) 57 50 39 37 37 41 43
Female 51.1% 54.1% 53.4% 51.1% 50.2% 51.0% 51.4%
Married (ages 18 and older) 68.4% 67.0% 64.1% 61.9% 62.8% 60.0% 59.8%
Women ages 15-44 giving birth in past year N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 8.5% 7.4%
Educational Attainment and Enrollment (highest degree completed, ages 25 and older)
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
High school graduate or less 88.9% 82.4% 70.1% 60.9% 57.4% 54.2% 51.6%
Two-year degree/Some college 6.0% 8.7% 14.1% 18.8% 18.5% 18.8% 18.7%
Bachelor’s degree or more 5.1% 9.0% 15.8% 20.3% 24.1% 27.1% 29.7%
Work/Earnings/Income (ages 16 and older)
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
In labor force (among civilian population) 47.5% 48.3% 55.4% 64.2% 60.5% 67.7% 66.6%
Median annual personal earnings
(in 2015 dollars, among those with earnings)
N/A N/A N/A $26,362 $27,526 $26,061 $28,000
Median annual household income (in 2015 dollars) N/A N/A $39,432 $49,209 $53,778 $49,624 $51,000
Poverty
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Living in poverty 19.1% 14.6% 15.2% 17.8% 17.7% 18.7% 16.5%
Homeownership and Household Characteristics
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
In family households 88.0% 86.5% 85.9% 87.4% 87.9% 87.0% 86.3%
Region and Top Five States of Residence in 2015
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
West 19.8% 24.0% 32.4% 39.6% 37.9% 35.4% 34.6%
California 13.7% 18.0% 25.4% 32.7% 28.5% 25.4% 24.7%
South 9.9% 14.5% 20.6% 23.2% 27.7% 31.9% 32.9%
Texas 3.2% 3.6% 6.1% 7.7% 9.3% 10.4% 10.7%
Florida 2.7% 5.5% 7.5% 8.4% 8.6% 9.2% 9.5%
Northeast 47.0% 42.1% 32.0% 26.5% 23.2% 21.5% 21.3%
New York 23.5% 21.5% 17.0% 14.4% 12.4% 10.8% 10.5%
New Jersey 6.4% 6.5% 5.4% 4.9% 4.7% 4.6% 4.6%
Midwest 23.3% 19.5% 15.0% 10.8% 11.3% 11.1% 11.1%

Source: Pew Research Center tabulations of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses and 2010 and 2015 American Community Surveys (IPUMS). Total foreign-born population estimates for 1960-2000 shown here may differ from other reported estimates since they are based on IPUMS data files (1% samples in 1960 and 1970 and 5% samples in 1980, 1990 and 2000), and are not based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
“Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 1960-2015”