Equity & Diversity

Quick Facts on U.S. Immigration

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 03, 2009 1 min read
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Of immigrants living in the United States who are age 25 and older, only 27.1 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008, according to facts put together by the Migration Policy Institute. Slightly more than half of immigrants, 52.1 percent, do not speak English “very well.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, nearly 38 million, or 12.5 percent, of the U.S. population was born in a foreign country. That compares with an immigrant population of 14.8 percent in 1890.

The fact sheet notes that the large presence of immigrants from Mexico and Asian countries in the early part of this century starkly contrasts with the predominance of immigrants in 1960 who came mostly from European countries.

The top five U.S. states by the number of immigrants in 2008 were California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

Naturally, those are also big states for English-language learners in schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.