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Visualizing Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S.

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More than any other nation, the U.S. is home to over 46 million immigrants. Of these, over 11 million are unauthorized immigrants.

This graphic visualizes the countries of origin for the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S., based on 2021 estimates from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), published in September 2023. Because these estimates are based on 2021 figures, they don’t capture the record number of border encounters witnessed in 2022 and 2023.

Mexico’s Overall Share is Declining

According to the MPI, Mexico accounted for 7.7 million unauthorized immigrants in 2008. This suggests a 32% decline to the latest estimate of 5.2 million.

CountryRegionUnauthorized Immigrants

MexicoNorth America5,203,000

GuatemalaNorth America780,000

El SalvadorNorth America751,000

HondurasNorth America564,000

IndiaAsia400,000

PhilippinesAsia309,000

VenezuelaSouth America251,000

ChinaAsia241,000

ColombiaSouth America201,000

BrazilSouth America195,000

Rest of World2,322,000

Total11,217,000

Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras follow Mexico. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigration from these three countries has been the most significant contributor to the growth of the Central American-born population in the U.S. since 1980. Roughly 86% of Central Americans in the United States in 2021 were born in one of these three countries.

India comes in fifth. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an unprecedented number of undocumented Indian immigrants have been crossing U.S. borders on foot in recent years.

Among the factors for the increase in Indian immigration to the U.S. are the overall growth in global migration since the pandemic, oppression of minority communities in India, and extreme visa backlogs.

Learn more about unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. by our breakdown by U.S. state found here.

The post Charted: Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S., by Country of Origin appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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