US Immigration by Country

Immigration is the international movement of people from their country of origin (where they were born or where they have citizenship) to a different destination country.

Immigrants leave their home countries for several reasons, including searching for economic opportunities, family reunification, retirement, and better access to resources.

The United States has had a long history of significant population growth and cultural changes thanks to immigration. Because the U.S. is a settler-colonial society, all Americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations, with the exception of those who are Native American.

Immigrants who have been granted the right to reside permanently in the United States are referred to as lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or green card holders. To become a LPR/green card holder, one must first be admitted to the country as a refugee and have been physically present as an admitted refugee for at least one year. Refugees admitted to the U.S. are required to apply for a green card after one year.

Not all LPRs choose to become U.S. citizens. Those looking to apply for citizenship must meet specific requirements, including having lived in the U.S. for five years.

All immigration matters are handled through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The United States has the highest immigrant population in the world of 48.2 million. This is over 14.6% of the total U.S. population and about 20% of international immigrants worldwide. The number of immigrants in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1965. The U.S. immigrant population is incredibly diverse, with just about every country in the world being represented.

In 2018, the United States saw 1,096,611 people obtaining lawful permanent resident status, 528,727 of whom were new arrivals to the United States and 567,884 that had an adjustment of status. The states with the largest immigrant populations are California, New York, Florida, and Texas.

The ten countries of origin that sent the most immigrants to the U.S. in 2018 were:

  1. Mexico - 161,858
  2. Cuba - 76,486
  3. China - 65,214
  4. India - 59,821
  5. Dominican Republic - 57,413
  6. Philippines - 47,238
  7. Vietnam - 33,834
  8. El Salvador - 28,326
  9. Haiti - 21,360
  10. Jamaica - 20,347

Mexico is the top origin country of the U.S. immigrant population. In 2017, 11.2 million immigrants living in the United States were from Mexico, about one-quarter of the total immigrant population. This is likely because of the U.S.-Mexico border that runs along the southern United States.

Countries in South and East Asia comprised about 27% of all immigrants, such as India and China, which had a combined 125,035 immigrants in 2018. This is just 2% more than the total amount of immigrants from Mexico alone.

Here are the 10 countries with the most immigrants to the United States:

  1. Mexico (11,171,893)
  2. India (2,652,853)
  3. China (2,221,943)
  4. Philippines (2,013,756)
  5. El Salvador (1,419,330)
  6. Vietnam (1,345,753)
  7. Cuba (1,343,960)
  8. Dominican Republic (1,177,864)
  9. South Korea (1,039,099)
  10. Guatemala (1,006,987)

US Immigration by Country

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US Immigration by Country

Country Immigrants to the US
Mexico11,171,893
India2,652,853
China2,221,943
Philippines2,013,756
El Salvador1,419,330
Vietnam1,345,753
Cuba1,343,960
Dominican Republic1,177,864
South Korea1,039,099
Guatemala1,006,987
Canada813,664
Colombia789,561
Jamaica733,429
United Kingdom699,193
Haiti687,186
Honduras646,253
Germany559,102
Brazil472,637
Peru467,172
Ecuador443,105
Poland398,786
Venezuela393,841
Taiwan390,150
Russia383,305
Iran381,951
Pakistan379,103
Nigeria374,711
Japan361,565
Ukraine325,885
Italy324,903
Guyana280,297
Ethiopia278,083
Thailand269,381
Nicaragua262,077
Bangladesh261,052
Iraq237,422
Hong Kong233,248
Trinidad And Tobago222,268
Egypt207,579
Ghana195,371
Argentina194,421
France191,179
Laos184,390
Portugal169,980
Romania162,443
Nepal148,634
Kenya146,560
Myanmar140,391
Cambodia138,637
Israel129,926
Turkey126,494
Greece125,699
Ireland124,990
Lebanon121,936
Spain117,790
Afghanistan113,669
Syria111,766
Bosnia And Herzegovina105,569
Panama103,750
Somalia103,377
Chile103,030
South Africa99,672
Indonesia94,079
Australia90,587
Albania90,239
Netherlands88,235
Jordan87,683
Costa Rica87,383
Armenia87,268
Liberia85,292
Malaysia82,556
Morocco79,409
Bolivia79,357
Cameroon78,008
Saudi Arabia74,674
Bulgaria72,189
Belarus70,969
Uzbekistan68,512
Hungary67,265
Yemen62,422
Barbados53,376
Sudan52,651
Sri Lanka52,000
Moldova47,767
Belize47,287
Uruguay46,262
Eritrea45,110
Fiji43,515
Grenada41,010
Croatia38,985
Austria38,983
Serbia37,435
Dominica37,093
Cape Verde37,073
Belgium35,754
Kuwait35,607
Switzerland34,422
Singapore34,202
Lithuania33,100
Denmark29,331
Bahamas29,216
Kazakhstan28,290
North Macedonia25,903
Latvia25,339
Norway25,071

US Immigration by Country