Asians Comprise Largest Immigrant Group as Foreign-Born Population in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1910

Foreign-born population in the United States has reached its highest level since 1910, while Asians comprise the largest migrant group, overtaking Latin Americans, according to Census Bureau’s figures for 2017. 


Foreign-born population in the United States has reached its highest numbers since 1910, while Asians compose the maximum share among new arrivals in the country since 2010, an analysis of recently released U.S. census data shows. It also reveals that the new arrivals are more educated than their predecessors. 

Immigrants represented 13.7 percent of the population in 2017, according to the analysis, the New York Times reported, citing the Brookings Institution analysis of this data. It is the highest percentage since the figure of 14.7 percent recorded in 1910. 

There has been a major shift in the background of newcomers, with the number of those from Asia overtaking immigrants from Latin America, the Census Bureau’s figures for 2017 show. As many as 41 percent of the people who arrived in the country since 2010 were from Asia while only 39 percent were from Latin America.  

The latest analysis has also highlighted the higher level of education among new arrivals in comparison to the people who arrived earlier. About 45 percent of the immigrants since 2010 were college educated, marking an increase of 15 percent from those who came between 2000 and 2009. 

This finding refutes the common notion that the immigrants coming to United States are less skilled or not educated enough. 

“We think of immigrants as being low-skilled workers from Latin America, but for recent arrivals that’s much less the case. People from Asia have overtaken people from Latin America,” William H. Frey, senior demographer at the Brookings Institution who conducted the analysis, was quoted as saying by the publication.

For many years, the maximum number of immigrants used to come from Mexico, Frey added. But since 2010, the number of people coming from Mexico has decreased, while that from China and India has increased.  

Since 2010, the increase in the number of Asian people — 2.6 million — was more than double of the 1.2 million people who came from Latin America. 

Emmanuel D’Souza, an immigrant from India, told the publication that he has noticed an increasing population of Indians in his area. “Now when you go to the grocery store at 5 or 6 in the evening, you see a lot of Indian people buying vegetables after work,” he said, adding that there were fewer Indians in 2009 while today, there are more Indians, at least four temples, two mosques and two Indian specialty stores. 

This analysis has its own importance, as the Trump Administration is coming up with strict policies to control the number of immigrants.  

“If you listen to the current political debate and people bring up the idea of immigrants, they’re thinking of illegal Mexican immigrants taking jobs away from Americans and that they’re low-skilled and that they’re not paying their dues. All that is not really characteristic of what’s happening now,” Frey was quoted as saying in the report.

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