Age-Sex Pyramids of Top Immigrant Origin Groups in U.S., 2011

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Age-Sex Pyramids of Top Immigrant Origin Groups in U.S., 2011

Here are age-sex pyramids for the total U.S. immigrant population and of the seven largest immigrant-origin groups (with at least 1 million immigrants) for 2011. To view an age-sex pyramid for immigrants from Mexico, India, China, the Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, and South Korea, select the country of interest from the drop-down menu. 

Notes: 

All immigrants: There were about 40.4 million immigrants residing in the United States in 2011. Several factors affected the shape of the age-sex pyramid of the immigrant population. First, many migrants leave their home countries to find work abroad, so a high number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 is not uncommon. As can be seen in this age-sex pyramid, the majority of immigrants in 2011 were adults between the ages of 20 and 54. Second, in general, children rarely migrate by themselves and adult immigrants tend to migrate with few or no children. This helps explain the relatively small amount of people age 20 and younger. There is another reason, however: the children born in the United States to adult immigrants are considered native born and are not included in this age-sex pyramid. Third, people are less likely to migrate at older ages. In the foreign-born age-sex pyramid, there are clearly fewer people in the retirement-age groups (age 55 and over). This low number of older immigrants also has to do with many immigrants returning home for retirement and the death of older settled immigrants. All of these factors give the foreign-born age-sex pyramid its "diamond shape." Male-to-female ratio: 95.8.

Immigrants from:

China: There were about 1.87 million immigrants from China (excluding Taiwan) residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from China (excluding Taiwan) has many of the same characteristics as the "diamond shape" population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. Similar to the Filipino immigrant population but unlike the Mexican and Indian immigrant populations, the foreign-born population from China has fewer males than females. This is reflected in a low male-to-female ratio that indicates there were 84 males to every 100 females.

Cuba: There were about 1.09 million immigrants from Cuba residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from Cuba has many of the same characteristics as the “diamond shape” population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20. What is different is the sizable number of people over 60. These older Cubans for the most part are immigrants who came to the United States after the Cuban revolution. Unlike the high male-to-female ratios of the Mexican and Indian populations and the low male-to-female ratios of the Filipino and Chinese immigrant populations, the Cuban male-to-female ratio is 97, which suggests a more sex-balanced population.

El Salvador: There were more than 1.26 million immigrants from El Salvador residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from El Salvador shares some features of the “diamond shape” population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. Unlike the population pyramid of the total immigrant population, the middle part—representing the economically active population—is stretched out, while the top and the bottom—representing the children and elderly population—are small. Similar to the Mexican but unlike the Filipino immigrant populations, the foreign-born population from El Salvador overall has more men than women. This is reflected in a high male-to-female ratio that indicates there were 107 males to every 100 females. However, this is not the case among Salvadoran immigrants who are older than 50. There are more women than men in each of the age groups in the older adult population.

India: There were 1.86 million immigrants from India residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from India has many of the same characteristics as the "diamond shape" population pyramid of the immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. Similar to Mexican immigrant population but unlike the Filipino immigrant population, the foreign-born population from India has more men than women. This is reflected in a high male-to-female ratio that indicates there were 111 males to every 100 females. Unlike the Mexican immigrant population, however, the preponderance of males over females is not limited to the economically active ages of 15 to 44 but occurs in most age groups.

Mexico: There were 11.7 million immigrants from Mexico residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from Mexico has many of the same characteristics as the "diamond shape" population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. What is unusual about the Mexican immigrant population pyramid is the preponderance of male migrants between the ages of 15 and 44 (compare to the pyramid of Filipino immigrants e.g.). This is reflected in the high male-to-female ratio that indicates that there were 114 males for every 100 females in the Mexican foreign-born population in 2011.

the Philippines: There were 1.8 million immigrants from the Philippines residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from the Philippines has many of the same characteristics as the "diamond shape" population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. What is unusual about the Filipino immigrant population pyramid is the preponderance of female migrants ages 25 to 54 (compare to the pyramid of Mexican immigrants, e.g.). This is reflected in the low male-to-female ratio that indicates that there were 67 males for every 100 females in the foreign-born population from the Philippines in 2011.

Vietnam: There were about 1.26 million immigrants from Vietnam residing in the United States in 2011. The age-sex pyramid of the foreign-born population from Vietnam has many of the same characteristics as the "diamond shape" population pyramid of the total immigrant population. This includes the largest number of immigrants in the economically active ages of 20 to 54 and relatively smaller numbers under age 20 and over age 54. Unlike the high male-to-female ratios of the Mexican and Indian populations and the low male-to-female ratios of the Filipino and Chinese populations, the Vietnamese male-to-female ratio is 91, which suggests a more sex-balanced population.

Source: 

Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey. Data were accessed from Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010.