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New citizens stand during the National Anthem at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 3, 2018.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - RC1DCBADC590
Brookings Now

Charts of the week: Facts about immigration

Immigrants have always comprised a considerable share of the U.S. population. In new research from The Hamilton Project at Brookings, Ryan Nunn, Jimmy O’Donnell, and Jay Shambaugh lay out and explore a dozen economic facts about immigrants and immigration now and in the past. These charts are a sample of the many that appear in the full report.

The foreign-born share of the US population has returned to its late-19th-century level

The foreign-born share of the U.S. population peaked at over 14 percent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the 1970s, the foreign-born share has risen steadily from a low of about 5 percent to 13.7 percent in 2017. Learn more about the reasons behind these changes from The Hamilton Project’s analysis.

(click image to enlarge)
Figure: Foreign-born share of US population, 1850-2017

OVER THE PAST CENTURY THE COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN OF IMMIGRANTS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY

By the early 20th century, the vast majority of immigrants came from European countries, led by Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Ireland, Italy, and Scandinavian nations. Today, European immigrants represent only about 10 percent of the total, with two-thirds now coming from Asia, Mexico, and other Latin American nations. See more detail and analysis from The Hamilton Project’s report.

(click image to enlarge)Figures: Foreign-born population by place of origin, 1910 and 2017

 

IMMIGRATION DOES NOT INCREASE US CRIME RATES

The political rhetoric from President Trump and many who support him argues that immigrants increase crime in the U.S. However, according to the report from The Hamilton Project, “immigrants to the United States are considerably less likely than natives to commit crimes or to be incarcerated.”

(click image to enlarge)Figures: Institutionalization rate, by age and nativity; criminal justice interactions by nativity

 

See all the analysis and data in the full report by The Hamilton Project, “A dozen facts about immigration.”

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