During the last 50 years, the number of foreign born from Latin America and the Caribbean has increased rapidly, from less than 1 million in 1960 to 21.2 million in 2010. Currently, the foreign born from Latin America represent over half of the total foreign-born population. This brief will discuss the size, place of birth, citizenship status, and geographic distribution of the foreign born from Latin America in the United States. It presents data on the foreign born from Latin America at the national and state levels based on the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS).
In 2010, 309.3 million people lived in the United States, including 40.0 million foreign born (13 percent of the total population). In 2000, 31.1 million of the 281.4 million U.S. residents were foreign born—11 percent of the total population. Over the decade, the foreign-born population increased by 8.8 million.
Over half (53 percent) of all foreign-born U.S. residents in 2010 were from Latin America. Another 28 percent were from Asia. The next largest world region-of-birth group, the foreign born from Europe, represented 12 percent of all foreign born—less than half the size of the foreign born from Asia. About 4 percent of the foreign born were born in Africa and 3 percent were from other regions, including Oceania and Northern America. The single largest country-of-birth group was from Mexico (29 percent of all foreign born).
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