US Immigrant Population Hits Record 40 Million

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011 12:13 PM

By Greg McDonald

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The nation’s immigrant population reached 40 million last year for the first time in history, according to the Center for Immigrant Studies.

Based on data collected by the Census Bureau, the Center's analysis found that even though there was a net decline in U.S. jobs during the last decade, there was “little or no effect on immigrant arrivals, whether legal or illegal. Nearly 14 million new immigrants settled in the United States between 2000 and 2010, “making it the highest decade of immigration in American history,” according to a report on the study released Thursday.

“In contrast, from 1990 to 2000, job growth exceeded 20 million and slightly fewer immigrants (13.2 million) arrived” in the country, the report stated.

The population increase was primarily driven by legal entries, which accounts for the fact that three fourths of all immigrants living in the United States now have the right to be here.

Overall, the study found that the immigrant population grew nationwide by 28 percent between 2000 and 2010. But it doubled in 17 states that already had heavy immigrant concentrations. Those states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and Utah.

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