The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world. Today, more than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants in 2016. The population of immigrants is also very diverse, with just about every country in the world represented among U.S. immigrants.
Pew Research Center regularly publishes statistical portraits of the nation’s foreign-born population, which include historical trends since 1960. Based on these portraits, here are answers to some key questions about the U.S. immigrant population.
How many people in the U.S. are immigrants?
The U.S. foreign-born population reached a record 43.7 million in 2016. Since 1965, when U.S. immigration laws replaced a national quota system, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. has more than quadrupled. Immigrants today account for 13.5% of the U.S. population, nearly triple the share (4.7%) in 1970. However, today’s immigrant share remains below the record 14.8% share in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants lived in the U.S.
Youth is a defining characteristic of the U.S. Latino population. About six-in-ten Latinos (61%) in the U.S. were 35 or younger in 2016. The number of young Latinos –35 million – increased 20% from a decade earlier, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing youth populations in the country. With a median age of 28, Latinos are also the nation’s youngest major racial or ethnic group. Here are some key facts about them:
1Young Latinos are largely U.S. born. The U.S. born account for 81% of Latinos ages 35 or younger in 2016, compared with 42% of Latinos ages 36 or older. Those born in the U.S. are particularly young: With a median age of 20, many U.S.-born Latinos have not fully entered adulthood.
Populist parties and movements have disrupted the political landscape in Western Europe, from the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to the rise of a populist governing coalition in Italy. Amid these gains at the ballot box, journalists and other observers have debated whether these parties are redrawing the map of Europe, destroying traditional parties or pulling traditional parties more toward the ideological poles.
To learn more about what traditional and populist party support looks like in Western Europe, explore our new interactive feature below.
Sunday’s general election in Sweden extended two trends that are now prominent across Western Europe: the rise of right-wing populist parties and the decline of center-left parties.
The far-right Sweden Democrats entered parliament for the first time in 2010, winning 6% of the vote. On Sunday, they finished in third place with 18% of the vote. And while the center-left Social Democrats finished ahead of the Sweden Democrats, they registered their worst electoral performance in more than 100 years.
Hispanics are significantly more likely than the general U.S. public to believe in core parts of the American dream – that hard work will pay off and that each successive generation is better off than the one before it. Yet many Hispanics see the American dream as hard to reach, and belief in it declines as immigrant roots grow distant, according to newly released results from a Pew Research Center 2016 survey of Hispanic adults.
More than three-quarters of Hispanics (77%) said at the time that most people can get ahead with hard work, a higher share than among the U.S. public (62%) in 2016. For Hispanics, similar shares expected their standard of living to be better than that of their parents (75%) and expected their children to be better off than themselves (72%). Among the U.S. public, by contrast, just 56% expected to be better off than their parents, and 46% expected their children to have a better standard of living than they did.
Over the course of more than 15 years and three presidential administrations, Americans have consistently said that defending the nation against terrorism should be a top policy priority for the White House and Congress, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted since shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In January of this year, 73% of U.S. adults said defending the country against future terrorist attacks should be a top priority for President Donald Trump and Congress – making this one of the most frequently cited priorities, along with improving the educational system (72%) and strengthening the nation’s economy (71%).
Other issues have risen and fallen as public priorities over the years. Economic concerns such as improving the job situation and reducing the federal budget deficit have generally receded since 2010, while growing shares of Americans have prioritized other areas, such as protecting the environment, dealing with climate change and reducing health care costs.
But the share that sees defending against terrorism as a top priority has remained fairly steady: Around seven-in-ten Americans or more have cited it as a top priority in 17 surveys conducted by the Center since January 2002 (the first time the question was asked), when 83% of Americans cited it.
Fast, reliable internet service has become essential for everything from getting news to finding a job. But 24% of rural adults say access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their local community, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. An additional 34% of rural residents see this as a minor problem, meaning that roughly six-in-ten rural Americans (58%) believe access to high speed internet is a problem in their area.
By contrast, smaller shares of Americans who live in urban areas (13%) or the suburbs (9%) view access to high-speed internet service as a major problem in their area. And a majority of both urban and suburban residents report that this is not an issue in their local community, according to the survey, conducted Feb. 26-March 11. (The survey categorized Americans as urban, suburban or rural based on their own description of their community type.)
A projected 50.7 million pre-K-12 students will return to the classroom in U.S. public schools this fall. They comprise a student body that is more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college, and perhaps more prepared than ever before for a world in which education plays an outsize role in determining their futures.
Here are key findings about America’s students and their experiences:
1America’s students are more racially and ethnically diverse than ever, while teachers remain overwhelmingly white. In fall 2015, the share of nonwhite students in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools hit a record 51%. That’s up from 30% in fall 1986. Growth has been especially fast among Hispanic students, who increased from 10% of students in 1986 to 26% in 2015.
At the same time, nonwhites continue to make up a relatively small share of teachers: In the 2015-16 school year, just 20% of public school elementary and secondary teachers were nonwhite, up from 13% in 1987-88. (In 2015, 39% of all Americans were nonwhite.)
While America’s overall student body has become more diverse, many nonwhite students go to public schools where at least half of their peers are of their race or ethnicity. Large shares of blacks (44%) and Hispanics (57%) attend public schools where people of their own race or ethnicity make up at least half the student body. Meanwhile, whites – who continue to make up a larger share of overall U.S. public school students than any other race or ethnicity – tend to go to schools where half or more of students are white.
Category: 5 Facts
About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households.
Our calculator below, updated with 2016 data, lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the United States similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.
About half (52%) of American adults lived in middle-class households in 2016. This is virtually unchanged from the 51% who were middle class in 2011. But while the size of the nation’s middle class remained relatively stable, financial gains for middle-income Americans during this period were modest compared with those of higher-income households, causing the income disparity between the groups to grow.
The recent stability in the share of adults living in middle-income households marks a shift from a decades-long downward trend. From 1971 to 2011, the share of adults in the middle class fell by 10 percentage points. But that shift was not all down the economic ladder. Indeed, the increase in the share of adults who are upper income was greater than the increase in the share who are lower income over that period, a sign of economic progress overall.