U.S. Research | Immigrants

Becoming American: 50 Years of Inroads

Immigration has had a tremendous impact on U.S. demographics since the passage of the landmark Hart-Celler Act in 1965 amending the earlier Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. The proportion of immigrants in the country has grown from 4.8% in 1965 to 13.9% today (just below the historic high of 15% around the turn of the 20th century), and is only expected to increase. A recent Pew Research study broke down how immigration has contributed to the diversification of the country and how the dynamics expected to drive population growth over the next 50 years. Here are highlights from the extensive report:

45 million (2015) vs. 9.6 million (1965)

Number of foreign-born U.S. residents

72 million (55%)

Contribution of immigrant population to overall U.S. growth over last 50 years

26% (Asian) / 47% (Hispanic) / 8% (Black) / 18% (White)

Racial makeup of immigrant population in 2015

11% (Asian) / 9% (European) / 22% (African) / 37% (Latin American) / 39% (Middle Eastern)

Percentage of Americans who view region’s immigrants as having mostly negative impact on American society

34% (make worse) vs. 18% (make better) vs. 45% (not much effect)

How Americans perceive the impact of immigrants on U.S. social and moral values

Read more:
Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065 (Pew Research Center)
Top Countries of Origin by State of Settlement, 1850-Present (Pew Research Center)