The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But unauthorized immigrants have become a source of political debate, and Congress and President Obama disagree over the best course of action to address issues such as deportations, legal status, education and benefits. For years, the Pew Research Center has estimated the size of the unauthorized immigrant population and surveyed the U.S. public about immigration.
Interactive: U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Trends
Explore population trends from a new analysis of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States based on Pew Research Center estimates.
State Unauthorized Immigrant Populations Rise and Fall
Since the Great Recession ended, the population of unauthorized immigrants has risen in seven states and fallen in 14.
Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S., 2012
See how the unauthorized immigrant population varies state-by-state, how it has changed since 2009 and which states have the highest and lowest shares of unauthorized immigrants with our interactive maps.
All Publications from this Topic
On Immigration Policy, Wider Partisan Divide Over Border Fence Than Path to Legal Status
As immigration emerges as a key issue in the presidential campaign, there is little common ground between Republicans and Democrats in views of several immigration policy proposals.
Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 1960 – 2013
There were a record 41.3 million immigrants living in the U.S. in 2013, making up 13.1% of the nation’s population, a fourfold increase since 1960. These interactive charts explore immigration population trends, from origin to length of time in the U.S., to age and language use.
Selected U.S. Immigration Legislation and Executive Actions, 1790 – 2014
Explore how immigration in the U.S. was shaped by laws and acts in this interactive timeline of U.S. immigration legislation since the 1790s.
Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to the U.S.
The nation’s foreign-born population has swelled from 10 million in 1965 to a record 45 million in 2015. By 2065, the U.S. will have a projected 78 million immigrants.
Number of babies born in U.S. to unauthorized immigrants declines
About 295,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2013, making up 8% of the 3.9 million U.S. births that year. This was down from a peak of 370,000 in 2007.
What Americans want to do about illegal immigration
There is little support overall for an effort to deport all those in the U.S. illegally, but past surveys have found support for building a barrier along the Mexican border and for banning birthright citizenship.
5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.
The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. Here are five facts from our latest analysis of this population.
Unauthorized immigrant population stable for half a decade
An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014. This population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes
What we know about illegal immigration from Mexico
Pew Research Center tracks the origins of unauthorized immigrants, their participation in the labor force and where in the U.S. they are settling.
Public Views of Immigration
There is broad public support for a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. But other opinions on immigration, including views of legal immigration, are more mixed.