Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent endorsement of a proposal to create a path for unauthorized immigrants to gain legal status if they have lived in the country for a long period of time has prompted renewed interest in the characteristics of this population. An analysis finds that nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years.
Births have overtaken immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population, especially among the largest of all Hispanic groups -- Mexican-Americans.
The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States. Hispanics now account for 16.3% of the total population. Among children ages 17 and younger, there were 17.1 million Latinos in 2010, or 23.1% of this age group. Overall, racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 91.7% of the nation's growth over the decade.
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This statistical profile of the foreign-born population is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey.
As of March 2010, 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the U.S., virtually unchanged from a year earlier and remaining well below the population's peak of 12 million in 2007. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the nation's workforce (8 million) also has not changed in the past year.