November 18, 2014

Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S., 2012

Unauthorized Immigrant Population, by State, 2012

California has by far the largest number of unauthorized immigrants, more than 2.4 million in 2012. Six-in-ten unauthorized immigrants live in the six states with the largest populations of unauthorized immigrants—California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Population figures are rounded.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Unauthorized Immigrant Share of Population, by State, 2012

In four states—California, Nevada, Texas and New Jersey—unauthorized immigrants make up more than 5% of the total population. States with the highest shares of unauthorized immigrants are concentrated along the coasts or U.S. border with Mexico. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Percentages calculated from unrounded numbers.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Unauthorized Immigrants as a Share of All Immigrants, by State, 2012

About a quarter of all U.S. immigrants (26%) were unauthorized in 2012, but the share varies widely by state. Generally, states with the highest share of unauthorized immigrants among the foreign-born population are in the South and Mountain West. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Percentages calculated from unrounded numbers.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Unauthorized Immigrants as Share of Labor Force, by State, 2012

Nationally, unauthorized immigrants were 5.1% of the 2012 labor force, which includes anyone ages 16 and older who is working or looking for work. But the share is higher in some states, especially those with relatively large shares of unauthorized immigrants in the total population. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Percentages calculated from unrounded numbers.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Share of K-12 Students with Unauthorized Immigrant Parent(s), by State, 2012

Children of unauthorized immigrants made up 6.9% of U.S. students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in 2012, though the share varies by state. Most (5.5%) are U.S.-born children who are U.S. citizens at birth. The rest (1.4%) are unauthorized immigrants themselves. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Percentages calculated from unrounded numbers.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Mexicans as Share of Unauthorized Immigrants, by State, 2012

Mexico is the country of birth of most unauthorized immigrants in the nation overall and in at least half the states. Nationally, the share and number of Mexican-born unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 and has declined since then. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Percentages calculated from unrounded numbers.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Change in Unauthorized Immigrant Population, by State, 2009 to 2012

Although the unauthorized immigrant population was statistically unchanged at the national level from 2009 to 2012, numbers rose in seven states and declined in 14 states over that period. Most of the states with increases are on the East Coast. See our report: Unauthorized Immigrant Totals Rise in 7 States, Fall in 14

Note: Changes shown are significant based on 90% confidence interval.
Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2009 and 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

State Unauthorized Immigrant Population, 2012 Unauthorized Immigrant Share of Population, 2012 Unauthorized Share of Immigrant Population, 2012 Unauthorized Immigrant Share of Labor Force, 2012 Share of K-12 Students with Unauthorized Immigrant Parent(s), 2012 Share Mexican of Unauthorized Immigrants, 2012 Change in Unauthorized Immigrant Population, 2009-2012
Total 11,200,000 3.5% 26% 5.1% 6.9% 52% n.s.
Alabama 65,000 1.4% 38% 2.0% 2.8% 66% -10,000
Alaska 15,000 1.8% 25% 2.4% 1.2% 12% n.s.
Arizona 300,000 4.6% 33% 6.0% 11.0% 84% -40,000
Arkansas 60,000 2.1% 45% 3.2% 5.4% 68% n.s.
California 2,450,000 6.3% 23% 9.4% 13.2% 68% -90,000
Colorado 180,000 3.5% 34% 4.7% 8.1% 78% -30,000
Connecticut 130,000 3.5% 25% 5.1% 4.2% 15% n.s.
Delaware 20,000 2.4% 26% 3.8% 5.4% 47% n.s.
District of Columbia 20,000 3.1% 20% 4.1% 4.9% 12% n.s.
Florida 925,000 4.8% 24% 6.9% 7.5% 13% 55,000
Georgia 400,000 3.9% 39% 5.6% 7.5% 54% -35,000
Hawaii 35,000 2.4% 13% 3.7% 2.5% 7% n.s.
Idaho 50,000 3.0% 43% 4.6% 5.5% 83% 10,000
Illinois 475,000 3.7% 26% 5.2% 8.2% 72% -30,000
Indiana 85,000 1.3% 27% 1.9% 2.8% 68% -15,000
Iowa 40,000 1.4% 30% 2.0% 2.7% 65% n.s.
Kansas 75,000 2.6% 38% 3.5% 7.0% 75% -20,000
Kentucky 35,000 0.8% 26% 1.2% 1.8% 48% -15,000
Louisiana 55,000 1.2% 31% 1.8% 1.7% 29% n.s.
Maine <5,000 0.2% 6% 0.3% 0.2% B n.s.
Maryland 250,000 4.3% 29% 6.2% 5.7% 12% 25,000
Massachusetts 150,000 2.3% 15% 3.4% 2.2% 3% -25,000
Michigan 120,000 1.2% 18% 1.6% 1.9% 36% n.s.
Minnesota 95,000 1.8% 22% 2.5% 3.0% 53% n.s.
Mississippi 25,000 0.9% 44% 1.2% 1.0% 57% n.s.
Missouri 65,000 1.1% 27% 1.4% 2.0% 35% n.s.
Montana <5,000 0.3% 14% 0.4% 0.4% B n.s.
Nebraska 55,000 2.8% 41% 3.7% 7.1% 67% 10,000
Nevada 210,000 7.6% 39% 10.2% 17.7% 69% -20,000
New Hampshire 10,000 0.9% 15% 1.2% 0.7% 7% n.s.
New Jersey 525,000 5.8% 26% 8.2% 7.7% 19% 75,000
New Mexico 70,000 3.4% 35% 4.7% 7.1% 89% -20,000
New York 750,000 3.8% 16% 5.7% 5.5% 20% -60,000
North Carolina 350,000 3.6% 44% 5.2% 7.6% 62% n.s.
North Dakota <5,000 0.3% 10% 0.5% 0.1% B n.s.
Ohio 95,000 0.8% 20% 1.1% 1.3% 34% n.s.
Oklahoma 100,000 2.6% 43% 3.7% 5.5% 76% n.s.
Oregon 120,000 3.1% 31% 4.6% 7.5% 75% -20,000
Pennsylvania 170,000 1.3% 21% 1.7% 2.0% 23% 30,000
Rhode Island 35,000 3.3% 23% 4.6% 5.4% 6% n.s.
South Carolina 95,000 2.0% 41% 3.0% 3.8% 61% n.s.
South Dakota <5,000 0.4% 14% 0.6% 0.7% B n.s.
Tennessee 130,000 2.0% 40% 2.8% 3.4% 59% n.s.
Texas 1,650,000 6.3% 37% 8.9% 13.1% 75% n.s.
Utah 100,000 3.6% 41% 5.1% 7.1% 69% n.s.
Vermont <5,000 0.4% 9% 0.5% 0.2% B n.s.
Virginia 275,000 3.5% 28% 5.1% 5.5% 15% 25,000
Washington 230,000 3.3% 24% 4.9% 7.1% 62% n.s.
West Virginia <5,000 0.2% 13% 0.2% 0.1% B n.s.
Wisconsin 85,000 1.5% 30% 1.8% 3.3% 76% n.s.
Wyoming 5,000 1.0% 31% 1.3% 2.1% 82% n.s.

Note: All numbers are rounded independently and are not adjusted to sum to the total U.S. figure or other totals. Percents and Change calculated from unrounded numbers. See Methodology for rounding rules. Significant changes are based on 90% confidence interval. When ranked, states with the same numbers or shares within the column that is ranked are shown alphabetically.
"B" – Base of percent is too small to produce a reliable estimate.
"n.s." – Change is not statistically significant.

Source: Pew Research Center estimates for 2009 and 2012 based on augmented American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)