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