U.S. Foreign-Born Population increases to 44.5 million, Highest since 1910
The number foreign-born Americans increase to 44.5 million in 2017, representing 1.8 percent from a year earlier.
According to figures from the Census Bureau, Foreign-born residents made up 13.7 percent of the U.S. population in 2017, up from 13.5 percent in 2016.
That made the percentage of immigrants in the United States last year the highest since 1910, when they made up 14.7 percent of the population.
The Census Bureau information showed that an increasing number of immigrants were from Asia or had completed higher education.
The Trump administration has said it wants to restrict legal immigration. It has increased efforts to detain and expel immigrants who entered the country without the government’s permission.
In fact, notes Randy Capps, the government has done little to restrict legal immigration.
Capps studies changes in population at the Migration Policy Institute. He told the Reuters news agency that America’s strong job market likely caused part of the increase in the foreign-born population.
“The economy’s definitely a factor in this, not just in more people coming but in more people staying,” Capps said.
The information comes from the U.S. government’s American Community Survey. Experts believe this survey is the best way to estimate the immigrant population. The study is also used to measure population changes in cities and counties around the country. It counts all people born outside the U.S. and does not identify whether they are in the country legally or illegally.
Experts say the survey likely undercounts those living in the country illegally. Illegal immigrants can be more difficult to identify in population counts because of informal housing. Also, some illegal immigrants do not take part in the survey for fear of being reported to the government, experts say