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.
Estimated unauthorized immigrant population, by state, 2014
California has by far the largest number of unauthorized immigrants, about 2.3 million in 2014.
Unauthorized immigrant population trends for states, birth countries and regions
Explore U.S. unauthorized immigrant population trends for states of residence, as well as for international regions and largest countries of birth, based on Pew Research Center estimates.
Size of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Workforce Stable After the Great Recession
There were 8 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. working or looking for work in 2014, making up 5% of the civilian labor force, according to new Pew Research Center estimates using government data.
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.
Number of babies born to unauthorized immigrants in U.S. continues to decline
About 275,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2014, a decline from 330,000 in 2009.
Unauthorized immigrant population stable for half a decade
The unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. – 11.1 million in 2014 – has remained essentially stable since 2009 after nearly two decades of changes.
Measuring illegal immigration: How Pew Research Center counts unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer, on the research techniques used to derive the unauthorized immigrant population estimate in the U.S. and the challenges involved.
Overall Number of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrants Holds Steady Since 2009
The estimated total – 11.1 million in 2014 – has steadied since the end of the recession as the number declined from Mexico but grew from other countries.
U.S. Latino Population Growth and Dispersion Has Slowed Since the Onset of the Great Recession
A decline in Hispanic birth rates and the pace of immigration from Latin America has had an effect on the growth and dispersion of Hispanics in the country.
U.S. immigrant deportations declined in 2014, but remain near record high
The Obama administration deported 414,481 unauthorized immigrants in fiscal 2014, a drop from the prior year driven by a decline in deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction.