Where Immigrants Were Born

Where Immigrants Were Born
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Which countries do the U.S. foreign-born population hail from?

Because of its geographic and cultural proximity to the United States, Mexico accounts for an outsize portion of the foreign-born population. Nearly a quarter of foreign-born U.S. residents in 2018—about 11.2 million people—were born in Mexico.

The origins of the remaining three-quarters of the foreign-born population are shown in the map below. China and India—the two most populous countries in the world—were the most common places of birth among foreign-born residents in the United States in 2017, after Mexico. 

Hover over a country to see how many foreign-born residents were born there.

How have the regional origins of the immigrant population changed since 2010?

While Mexico is the most common country of origin, the total number of immigrants from there has declined since 2010. Meanwhile, the populations of immigrants from other regions of the world—particularly from the rest of Latin America, as well as from Africa and South, Central, and Western Asia—have increased substantially since 2010.

About the Data

Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates, Table B05006. The ACS reports foreign-born population estimates by region of origin (e.g. "Oceania" and "Western Asia"), as well as by individual country of origin. To more evenly divide the total immigrant population, LiveStories combined several reported regions into larger ones. These divisions are not intended to objectively represent geographic or cultural divisions of the human race; they were chosen primarily to yield a handful of useful "benchmark" regions of roughly even size, against which the diverse origins of local immigrant communities in the United States could be easily compared. 

The ACS does not report estimates for every country in the world; countries with no data on the map do not necessarily mean no immigrants were born there. Mexico was excluded from the world map because it is such an outlier that its presence would skew the choropleth shading for the rest of the countries.

See the data at state-level: