Foreign-born US immigrants now make up nearly 14% of the US population, a new report released by the United States Census Bureau on Thursday shows.
The report estimates that 46.2 million US residents were foreign-born as of 2022, up from 35.7 million in 2005.
Although this is only an increase of 1.5% since 2005, it’s still significant. Growth of the US immigrant population had largely stagnated from 2017 to 2021, due in large part to former president Donald Trump’s immigration policies and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recent growth in the foreign-born population reflects the fact that the US legal immigration system, which includes processing visas, is once again ramping up after slowing to a crawl during the pandemic.
The report details that the largest jump in legal immigration has come from those born in Latin America and Asia. Many of these new US immigrants are now arriving with college or post-college degrees, including those on H1-B visas.
In an interview with National Public Radio regarding the data in the report, Brookings Institution demographer William Frey said, “This image about immigrants coming in, that they’re low-skilled and need to have a lot of government support, is not necessarily supported by a lot of these data. Because there are a lot of immigrants coming who are well-educated and can contribute a lot to the labor force.”
The state of Florida saw the greatest growth in immigrant population in 2022, adding over 200,000 foreign-born residents. Other states that saw significant growth in their immigrant populations last year include Iowa, Maryland, and New Jersey.
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