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US has 46.2 million foreign-born, majority of whom are its citizens


US has 46.2 million foreign-born, majority of whom are its citizens

Women representing more than 20 countries take part in a Naturalization Ceremony, March 8, 2024, in San Antonio. (Photo/AP)


foreign-born population

in the US has increased by 15.6 per cent from 2010 to 2022, and is estimated to be 46.2 million (which is 13.9 per cent of the total


in 2022). In 2010, the foreign-born population stood at 40 million, which was 12.9 per cent of the total population.
Nothing signifies the adage that America is a nation of


that the statistics of 1970 where the foreign-born population stood at 9.6 million or just 4.7 per cent of the US population.


has become a heated topic in the run-up to the Presidential elections, with the border problems generating a lot of cross-fire exchange among the two political parties.
A report – ‘The Foreign Born Population in the US: 2022’, which analyses this data, was also released by the US Census Bureau. It points out that almost half (49.1 per cent ) of all immigrants in the US entered the country before 2000. This report compares the 2010 and 2022 American Community Survey.

The data is not country-specific but region-specific. Foreign born population from Asia (which includes India and China) is the second largest contingent. It stood at 11.28 million in 2010 and stands increased by 27 per cent to 14.35 million in 2022. The top source region continued to be Latin America and the Caribbean (with Mexico being a significant source country). Foreign-born population from this region increased by 9.5 per cent to stand at 23.23 million in 2020.

The term ‘foreign-born’ denotes anyone living in the US who was not a US citizen at birth (it includes those who later obtained US citizenship). Thus, it comprises green card holders, temporary immigrants including foreign students, refugees and asylees and even unauthorised migrants.
The data points out that most immigrants acquire US citizenship, more than half (52.3 per cent ) of the foreign-born population were

American citizens

. European- and Asian-born were the most likely to be US


, with naturalization rates of 67.4 per cent and 62.8 per cent, respectively.
Based on a release by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in February, TOI had earlier reported that nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens during the fiscal 2023 (year ending Sept 30, 2023), around a lakh less than the previous year’s data of 9.7 lakh new American citizens. Over 1.1 lakh Mexicans (12.7 per cent of the total number of new citizens) obtained US citizenship. With 59,100 (6.7 per cent ) Indians acquiring US citizenship, India occupied the second slot as the top source country of new citizens.
The data points out foreign-born population has grown older with the median age increasing five years to 46.7 years, as against a median age of 36.9 among those born in the US. It has also become more educated. Nearly a quarter of the foreign-born population 25 years and older had a bachelor’s (18.7 per cent ) or graduate or professional degree (14.9 per cent ), compared to 21.4 per cent and 13.1 per cent for the native-born population. An estimated 63.5 per cent of the foreign-born population was employed, cutting across management, business, science, and arts occupations.

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