E.g., 08/29/2014
E.g., 08/29/2014

Country Resource - United States

United States

US
  • Population.....................................................................318,892,103 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate ..............................................................0.77% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate....................................................13.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate...................................................8.15 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate................................2.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*..........white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)

* Note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Immigration has contributed to many of the economic, social, and political processes that are foundational to the United States as a nation since the first newcomers arrived over 400 years ago. After brushes with immigration reform that began in 2001 and continued in 2006 and 2007, the United States seems to be on the threshold of overhauling the legal immigration system in the most substantive way since 1965. This article provides a comprehensive overview of major legislation and events affecting U.S. immigration throughout history, legal and illegal immigration flows, postrecession immigration trends, and more.

Recent Activity

Immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa are more likely than the overall foreign-born population to be proficient in English, to have a college degree, and to be naturalized U.S. citizens. MPI's Aaron Terrazas uses the latest federal data to explore the population's size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

In the post-9/11 era, U.S. policymakers have increasingly used migration policy tools to strengthen national security. This piece highlights civil rights and liberties issues that point to the need to re-envision the relationship between security and mobility, and discusses a proposal to "secure human mobility."

Many governments use shortage lists to either facilitate or discourage economically-motivated immigration into particular occupations or fields, but the practice of doing so raises a variety of practical and philosophical questions. MPI's Madeleine Sumption discusses the challenges of maintaining shortage lists and developing immigration policies around them.

In this month's policy beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the Secure Border Initiative Network, the status of the USCIS Transformation project, and more.

Over the past two decades, the settlement patterns of immigrants in the United States have changed as an increasing number of the foreign born are choosing to make states in the southern and middle regions of the country their home. MPI's Aaron Terrazas profiles the immigrants in these "new-destination" states and compares them to the rest of the foreign-born population.

Destination countries of unaccompanied child migrants struggle with many questions related to why children migrate, how they should be received and processed, and whether they should be protected, integrated, or returned to their home countries. Amanda Levinson of ThirdSpace Consulting provides the context within which unaccompanied child migration occurs, and analyzes the policy response of the United States and European destination countries.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the rise in state-level action on immigration enforcement, the resuming deportations of Haitians, Mexico's inclusion in the Global Entry trusted traveler program, and more.

Los Estados Unidos es hogar para aproximadamente 2.9 millones de inmigrantes provenientes de los países centroamericanos Belice, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, y Panamá. La migración de Centroamérica ha crecido rápidamente en las recientes décadas, pero más de dos de cada cinco inmigrantes centroamericanos carecen de estatus migratorio legal mientras que alrededor de uno en diez residen en los Estados Unidos bajo la protección temporal humanitaria.

The 2.9 million Central American immigrants living in the United States were more likely than both the native born and the foreign-born population overall to be of working age and to be participating in the U.S. labor force. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines the population's size, geographic distribution, and demographic characteristics.

As an update to this month's Policy Beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the DREAM Act's failure in the Senate.

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Reports
January 2011

Notwithstanding the broad consensus on the benefits of highly skilled immigration, the economic role of less-skilled immigrants is one of the more controversial questions in the immigration debate. While less-skilled immigrants bring economic benefits for U.S. consumers, employers, and skilled workers, they impose some costs on U.S. workers competing for similar jobs.

Reports
November 2011

The story of immigrant integration in the United States has historically been one of generational progress, with the gains for second-generation Hispanic women particularly impressive, as this report reveals. It profiles first- and second-generation young adults ages 16 to 26, examining this diverse population's education and career pathways.

Reports
March 2013

This report examines how a parent’s unauthorized status affects child development. Based on a review of existing research that increasingly points to negative developmental consequences of parental unauthorized status across all stages of childhood, the authors explore possible options for policies and programs that could mitigate these risks, and propose ways to achieve this goal within the framework of proposed comprehensive immigration reform.

Reports
June 2014

This report identifies the unique needs of immigrant parents as they try to engage with early childhood education and care programs. Parent engagement is a critical component of kindergarten readiness, but many immigrant parents face formidable barriers to participation. The report explores federal and local efforts for immigrant parents of young children and offers recommendations for better meeting their needs.

Reports
March 2004

This report examines the transfer of immigration functions from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service to the newly established Department of Homeland Security and offers an analysis of the Department’s progress in its first year of existence toward accomplishing the two purposes for which it was created: (1) to ensure that immigration regulation and control enhances national security; and (2) to improve the performance of both the service and enforcement sides of the immigration system by allocating their respective functions to separate units within DHS. 

Reports
March 2007

This report provides a demographic profile of adolescent limited English proficient students in the United States, examines how these students are faring on standardized tests, and breaks down the assessment data further for a comparison of 6th to 8th grade LEP students California, Colorado, Illinois, and North Carolina.

Reports
July 2009

In order to rectify the shortcomings of a rigid and outdated U.S. visa system set in place by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), this report recommends creating a new visa stream called provisional visas which would sync visa policies with the way in which labor markets work in practice, and bridge temporary and permanent employment-based admissions to the United States in a predictable and transparent way.

Reports
January 2011

This report provides an overview of several commonly used translation and interpretation technologies. It aims to assist language access practitioners in understanding and identifying which systems would best meet their agency’s language access needs.

Reports
March 2012

Texas has the second-largest number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in the nation. Using a unique longitudinal data set that tracks ELL and non-ELL students in Texas from first grade through high school, this report examines the trajectories and performance of individual groups.

Reports
April 2013

This report examines migration flows from Mexico to the U.S. since the 1990s and highlights key economic factors linked to migration trends. These findings are analyzed to forecast Mexican migration flows.

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