September 14, 2018

Facts on U.S. Immigrants, 2016

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

Characteristics of the U.S. foreign-born population: 2016

There were a record 43.7 million immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, making up 13.5% of the nation’s population. This represents a more than 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.

To find more context on the figures below, visit the blog posts “Key findings about U.S. immigrants” and “Education levels of U.S. immigrants are on the rise,” and for a downloadable version of the tables below, see the PDF and the Excel workbook. For a profile of the Hispanic population in the United States, click here.

Population, region of birth, nativity and years in the U.S.
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Population (#) 9,729,147 9,744,833 14,079,460 19,682,004 31,133,481 39,916,875 43,681,654
Born in Mexico 6.0% 8.1% 15.6% 21.7% 29.4% 29.4% 26.5%
Citizen N/A 63.7% 50.4% 40.5% 40.3% 43.7% 48.7%

Race
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
White alone, not Hispanic N/A N/A 49.3% 31.2% 22.0% 18.7% 18.1%

Language use
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Speaking English at least very well (ages 5 and older) N/A N/A 57.2% 53.0% 49.0% 48.4% 51.0%

Age and gender
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Median age (in years) 57 50 39 37 37 41 44
Female 51.1% 54.1% 53.4% 51.1% 50.2% 51.0% 51.5%

Marital status and fertility
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Married (ages 18 and older) 68.4% 67.0% 64.1% 61.9% 62.8% 60.0% 60.3%
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 2016
High school graduate or less 88.9% 82.4% 70.1% 60.9% 57.4% 54.2% 51.3%
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% 30.0%

Work (ages 16 and older)
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
In labor force (among civilian population) 47.5% 48.3% 55.4% 64.2% 60.5% 67.7% 66.1%

Earnings and income (ages 16 and older)
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Median annual personal earnings
(in 2016 dollars, among those with earnings)
N/A N/A N/A $26,362 $27,526 $26,061 $30,000
Median annual household income (in 2016 dollars) N/A N/A $39,432 $49,209 $53,778 $49,624 $53,200

Poverty
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
Living in poverty 19.1% 14.6% 15.2% 17.8% 17.7% 18.7% 19.7%

Homeownership and household characteristics
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
In family households 88.0% 86.5% 85.9% 87.4% 87.9% 87.0% 82.3%

Region and top five states of residence
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016
West 19.8% 24.0% 32.4% 39.6% 37.9% 35.4% 34.5%
California 13.7% 18.0% 25.4% 32.7% 28.5% 25.4% 24.5%
South 9.9% 14.5% 20.6% 23.2% 27.7% 31.9% 33.0%
Texas 3.2% 3.6% 6.1% 7.7% 9.3% 10.4% 10.8%
Florida 2.7% 5.5% 7.5% 8.4% 8.6% 9.2% 9.7%
Northeast 47.0% 42.1% 32.0% 26.5% 23.2% 21.5% 21.4%
New York 23.5% 21.5% 17.0% 14.4% 12.4% 10.8% 10.4%
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: Source: Pew Research Center tabulations of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses and 2010 and 2016 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, 1960-2016”