Recently arrived U.S. immigrants, growing in number, differ from long-term residents

More analysis of the changing nature of immigrants to the USA:

Recently arrived U.S. immigrants are a growing part of the nation’s foreign-born population, which reached a record 44.4 million in 2017. Overall, their profile differs from immigrants who have been in the country longer.

About 7.6 million immigrants have lived in the country for five years or less. They make up 17% of the foreign-born population, a share that has returned to 2010 levels after a slight dip. Recently arrived immigrants have markedly different education, income and other characteristics from those who have been in the U.S. for more than a decade. Proposed changes to U.S. immigration lawscould favor highly skilled immigrants, which could further change the demographics of the nation’s foreign-born population. U.S. adults support encouraging highly skilled people to immigrate and work in the U.S., according to a 2018 survey from Pew Research Center.

View interactive charts and detailed tables on U.S. immigrants.

Related: A statistical portrait of the nation’s foreign-born population, which includes historical trends since 1960

Here are several ways the differences between shorter- and longer-tenured U.S. immigrants have changed over time:

1Nearly half of recently arrived U.S. immigrants have at least a bachelor's degree, a sharp increase from 2010. Short-term residents have more education than long-term residents, and the gap between these immigrant groups has widened. Almost half (47%) of immigrants ages 25 and older who arrived in the U.S. during the previous five years have a bachelor’s degree or more as of 2017, compared with just 28% of those who have lived in the country for more than 10 years. The share among newer arrivals has grown since 2010, when 36% had a college degree, compared with 25% of longer-tenured immigrants. Overall, the education levels of U.S. immigrants have increased, due in part to growing numbers of international students and highly skilled workers. By contrast, 32% of the U.S.-born population has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

2. Recently arrived immigrants have higher unemployment rates than longer-term immigrants. Immigrants who arrived in the past five years have a 7.1% unemployment rate, compared with a 3.9% unemployment rate for immigrants who have lived in the country for more than 10 years, according to Pew Research Center analysis of American Community Survey. Both groups have seen declines in unemployment since 2010, when their rates were 12.8% and 9.7%, respectively. More-recent arrivals have for decades had higher unemployment rates than longer-term residents, despite having more education. The opposite is true for the U.S. population overall: Those with more education have lower unemployment rates.

3. Earnings of recently arrived immigrants have grown, but lag those of longer-term foreign-born residentsThe personal earnings of recently arrived U.S. immigrants have increased, but trail those of longer-term immigrants. Those who arrived in the past five years had median annual personal earnings of $24,000 in 2017, compared with $32,000 among those who have lived in the country more than 10 years. For decades, more-recent arrivals have lagged longer-term residents in personal earnings despite having higher levels of education. For the U.S. population, by contrast, those with a college education have higher earnings. Since the Great Recession, the personal earnings of newer arrivals have increased while those of longer-tenured residents have remained flat.

4English proficiency among recently arrived immigrants is up since 2010. English proficiency among recently arrived immigrants is on the rise. Among those who arrived in the U.S. in the past five years, 45% said in 2017 that they either speak only English at home or speak English very well, up from 38% in 2010. Due to this increase, recent arrivals are closing the gap with longer-term immigrants, who have seen little change in their English proficiency. About half of immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years said in 2017 that they either speak only English at home or speak English very well, a share little changed from 2010.

5, South and East Asia is approaching Latin America and the Caribbean as the top origin region of recently arrived immigrants. Latin Americans account for 38% of U.S. immigrants who have arrived in the past five years, as of 2017, compared with 35% from Asia. This has changed since 2010, when immigrants from Latin America (48%) made up a far higher share of recent arrivals than Asia (30%).

Latin America and the Caribbean is by far the largest origin region among immigrants who have lived the country for more than 10 years. In 2017, immigrants from Latin America accounted for more than half (54%) of longer-term residents, compared with 25% among those from South and East Asia.

Undocumented immigrants in the US are increasingly better educated

Always interesting how so much of the debate reflects the past, not the more current situation:

Not much has changed about Washington, DC’s decades-long fixation with illegal immigration—or its inability to do something about it. The profile of immigrants themselves, however, has shifted dramatically.

Consider their education levels. The share of recently arrived undocumented immigrants with a college degree has nearly doubled between 2007 and 2016, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center. Here’s the share of college graduates who’ve been in the United States for five years or less compared with their more established counterparts.

At the same time, the share of recently arrived undocumented immigrants with no high school degree has shrunk, from 44% in 2007 to 31% in 2016. (Pew used government data for its calculations.)

These shifts reflect the changing nature of illegal immigration to the United States. For one, the number of new arrivals has plunged. In 2007, those who had been in the United States for five years or less made up 32% of all undocumented immigrants, according to Pew. By 2016, they accounted for 20%. And while in the past most undocumented immigrants crossed the border illegally, these days the majority are entering the country with legal visas and overstaying them.

The biggest change is the collapse in the number of Mexicans trekking north. Mexicans previously accounted for the lion’s share of undocumented immigrants in the United States. As their numbers have dwindled, the share of Asian immigrants, who tend to be better educated, has grown. In general, improvements in education around the world—including in places like Mexico—mean that immigrants from all regions are arriving to the United States with more schooling, Pew reports.

This new crop of undocumented immigrants is also more likely to speak English. In fact, despite the overall drop in new arrivals, the number of proficient English speakers grew to 3.4 million in 2016 from 2.8 million in 2007, Pew found. A look at Pew’s data on immigrants’ English proficiency and the shifts in their countries of origin help explain why:

Region of origin % English proficient Change in share of recent arrivals 2007-2016 (percentage points)
Mexico 25 -28
Northern Triangle 22 7
Asia 54 9
Other regions 69 12

To be sure, undocumented immigrants are still far less educated than people born in the United States. Only 8% of American adults lack a high school degree, compared with 44% of all undocumented immigrants, for example.

But the changes in undocumented immigration suggest that the gap will continue to shrink in coming years.

Source: Undocumented immigrants in the US are increasingly better educated

USA: Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

Spoiler – no:

A lot of research has shown that there’s no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States. But after one such study was reported on jointly by The Marshall Project and The Upshot last year, readers had one major complaint: Many argued it wasunauthorized immigrants who increase crime, not immigrants over all.

An analysis derived from new data is now able to help address this question, suggesting that growth in illegal immigration does not lead to higher local crime rates.

In part because it’s hard to collect data on them, undocumented immigrants have been the subjects of few studies, including those related to crime. But the Pew Research Center recently released estimates of undocumented populations sorted by metro area, which The Marshall Project has compared with local crime rates published by the F.B.I. For the first time, there is an opportunity for a broader analysis of how unauthorized immigration might have affected crime rates since 2007.

A large majority of the areas recorded decreases in both violent and property crime between 2007 and 2016, consistent with a quarter-century decline in crime across the United States. The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell. Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime, although the difference was small and uncertain.

(Illegal immigration itself is either a civil violation or a misdemeanor, depending on whether someone overstayed a visa or crossed the border without authorization.)

Most types of crime had an almost flat trend line, indicating that changes in undocumented populations had little or no effect on crime in the various metro areas under survey. Murder was the only type of crime that appeared to show a rise, but again the difference was small and uncertain (effectively zero).

For undocumented immigrants, being arrested for any reason would mean facing eventual deportation — and for some a return to whatever danger or deprivation they’d sought to escape at home.

There is no exact count of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. To create estimates, experts at Pew subtracted Department of Homeland Security counts of immigrants with legal status from the number of foreign-born people counted by the Census Bureau. Many organizations and agencies, including the D.H.S., use this residual estimation method; it is generally considered the best one available. As of 2016, there were an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants nationwide, down a million and a half since 2007.

Jeffrey Passel, a Pew senior demographer, and his team estimated changes in undocumented populations for roughly 180 metropolitan areas between 2007 and 2016. For comparison, The Marshall Project calculated corresponding three-year averages of violent and property crime rates from the Uniform Crime Reporting program, and the change in those rates.

The results of the analysis resemble those of other studies on the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime. Last year, a report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, found that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts. A state-level analysis in Criminology, an academic journal, found that undocumented immigration did not increase violent crime and was in fact associated with slight decreases in it. Another Cato study found that unauthorized immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated.

At the more local level, an analysis by Governing magazine reported that metropolitan areas with more undocumented residents had similar rates of violent crime, and significantly lower rates of property crime, than areas with smaller numbers of such residents in 2014. After controlling for multiple socioeconomic factors, the author of the analysis, Mike Maciag, found that for every 1 percentage point increase in an area’s population that was undocumented there were 94 fewer property crimes per 100,000 residents.

More research is underway about the potential effects of undocumented immigration on crime. Robert Adelman, a professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, whose group’s research The Marshall Project and The Upshot have previously documented, is leading a team to expand on the Governing analysis. Early results suggest unauthorized immigration has no effect on violent crime, and is associated with lower property crime, the same as Mr. Maciag found.

Preliminary findings indicate that other socioeconomic factors like unemployment rates, housing instability and measures of economic hardship all predict higher rates of different types of crime, while undocumented immigrant populations do not.

Many studies have established that immigrants commit crimes at consistently lower rates than native-born Americans. But a common concern is whether immigrants put pressure on native-born populations in any number of ways — for instance, by increasing job competition — that could indirectly lead to more crime and other negative impacts.

According to Mr. Adelman and his team, however, the impact of undocumented immigrants is probably similar to what the research indicates about immigrants over all: They tend to bring economic and cultural benefits to their communities. They typically come to America to find work, not to commit crimes, says Yulin Yang, a member of the team.

The data suggests that when it comes to crime, the difference between someone who is called a legal immigrant and an illegal one doesn’t seem to matter.

Global Opinions of Immigrants | Pew Research Center

On a more cheery note, the latest Pew Research:

Majorities of publics in top migrant destination countries say immigrants strengthen their countries, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries that host half of the world’s migrants.

In 10 of the countries surveyed, majorities view immigrants as a strength rather than a burden. Among them are some of the largest migrant receiving countries in the world: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia (each hosting more than 7 million immigrants in 2017).

By contrast, majorities in five countries surveyed – Hungary, Greece, South Africa, Russia and Israel – see immigrants as a burden to their countries. With the exception of Russia, these countries each have fewer than 5 million immigrants.

Meanwhile, public opinion on the impact of immigrants is divided in the Netherlands. In Italy and Poland, more say immigrants are a burden, while substantial shares in these countries do not lean one way or the other (31% and 20% respectively).

Countries surveyed hold half of the world’s migrants

Table showing the 2017 size of immigrant populations in the countries included in Pew Research Center's survey. The 18 nations surveyed contain more than half (51%) of the world’s migrant population, or some 127 million people, according to United Nations and U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Countries with some of the world’s largest immigrant populations were surveyed, including more traditional destinations like the United States, Canada and Australia that have seen waves of immigrants arrive since at least the 19th century. Also surveyed were more recent destination countries in the European Union such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Greece, all of which experienced immigration waves after World War II.

Japan and Israel were also surveyed. Japan is making efforts to attract more migrants due to its aging population. Israel has been a destination for immigrants since it enacted its 1950 Law of Return for Jewish people worldwide. Russia was surveyed since it has one of the world’s largest foreign-born populations. At the same time, South Africa continues to be a top destination country for many Africans.

Also included in the survey were some newer destinations. Mexico, for example, has become an increasingly important destination and transit country for migrants fleeing violence from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Similarly, Hungary became an important transit country for migrants entering Europe during the refugee surgethat peaked in 2015. And although Poland for many years was a country of emigration, it has seen a recent wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are top immigrant destinations that were not surveyed. Pew Research Center does not have a history of conducting surveys in these countries.

Table showing that views on the impact of immigrants in Europe have shifted since 2014.In the U.S., the nation with the world’s largest number of immigrants, six-in-ten adults (59%) say immigrants make the country stronger because of their work and talents, while one-third (34%) say immigrants are a burden because they take jobs and social benefits. Views about immigrants have shifted in the U.S. since the 1990s, when most Americans said immigrants were a burden to the country.

Meanwhile, in six European Union countries surveyed, public opinion about the impact of immigrants has changed since 2014. That was the last time the Center asked European publics this question. It was also before hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived on Europe’s shores in 2015. In Greece, Germany and Italy, three countries that experienced high volumes of arrivals, the share of adults saying immigrants make their countries stronger dropped significantly.

Chart showing that immigrants are viewed more favorably among those on the ideological left in the 18 countries included in the survey.By contrast, public opinion shifted in the opposite direction in France, the UK and Spain, countries surveyed that received fewer asylum seekers in 2015. In all three countries in 2018, majorities said immigrants made their countries stronger, up from about half who said the same in 2014.1

While majorities in many of the 18 countries surveyed see immigrants as a strength, this opinion is not equally shared across all groups within countries. In most countries surveyed, those on the left of the ideological spectrum are more positive about immigration’s impact on their country than those on the right. Similarly, in many countries surveyed, those with higher levels of education, younger adults, and those with higher incomes are more likely to say immigrants make their countries stronger because of their work and talents. (See Appendix B for group breakdowns.)

Also, in all countries surveyed, those saying they want fewer immigrants arriving in their countries are less likely to view immigrants as making their countries stronger.

Publics split on immigrants’ willingness to adopt their societies’ customs and way of life

Chart showing that views on immigrants’ willingness to integrate are mixed across the 18 countries included in the survey.Attitudes are mixed on immigrants’ willingness to adopt the destination country’s customs or wanting to be distinct from its society. A median of 49% among countries surveyed say immigrants want to be distinct from the host country’s society, while a median of 45% say immigrants want to adopt the host country’s customs and way of life.

In six destination countries – Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the U.S., France and Sweden – publics are more likely to say immigrants want to adopt the host country’s customs and way of life than say immigrants want to be distinct.

Japan is an outlier: A large majority of the public (75%) says immigrants want to adopt the country’s customs and way of life. This country, whose aging population and low birth rate make immigration relevant for its population growth, has recently changed its policies to attract more foreigners. Views about immigrant integration in Japan could be linked to the low number of immigrantsthe country hosts and that many immigrants in Japan are ethnically Japanese.

By contrast, in eight destination countries – Hungary, Russia, Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland, Israel and Australia – more people say immigrants want to be distinct than say they are willing to adopt the host country’s customs. Majorities hold this view in Hungary, Russia, Greece, Italy and Germany. In addition, sizable shares of people in most of these countries refused to choose one option or the other when asked this question.

In many countries surveyed, younger adults, those with higher levels of education and those on the left of the political spectrum are generally more likely to say immigrants are adopting the country’s customs and way of life (see Appendix B for group breakdowns).

Publics are less concerned about immigrant crime than the risk they pose for terrorism

In recent years, security concerns about immigration have become part of the public debate in many countries. Some of these concerns are about crime and immigration, while others are about terrorism and immigration.

Chart showing that in many of the 18 countries included in the survey, half or more of the public say immigrants are no more to blame for crime than other groups.Immigrants and crime

In several immigrant destination countries, large majorities say immigrants are notmore to blame for crime than other groups. This is the case in Canada, the U.S., France and the UK. Among other countries surveyed, only in South Africa, Sweden and Greece do majorities believe that immigrants are more to blame for crime than other groups.

In the Netherlands, Japan, Israel and Germany, opinions are split on the impact of immigrants on crime. In four other countries where views were mixed, substantial shares refused to choose either of the two statements offered – Italy (26%), Hungary (17%), Poland (15%) and Russia (14%).

In countries where majorities see immigrants as a strength, majorities also tend to say immigrants are not more to blame for crime. Notable exceptions are Germany and Sweden, where majorities say that immigrants strengthen their countries, but pluralities of adults say that immigrants carry more responsibility for crime.

Chart showing that majorities in many European migrant destinations think immigrants increase risk of terrorism.Immigrants and terrorism

Publics across top migrant destination countries are split on whether or not immigrants increase the risk of terrorism in their countries.

In seven countries, majorities believe immigrants do not increase the risk of terrorism in the host country. These include all surveyed countries in North America (Mexico, Canada and the U.S.), as well as South Africa and Japan. Publics in France and Spain, two European countries that were not at the center of the 2015 refugee crisis, also hold this view.

By contrast, majorities in seven European nations – Hungary, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands – believe immigrants increase the risk of terrorism in their countries.

Views on the topic are divided in the UK, Australia and Israel. In Poland, half (52%) of the public says immigrants increase the risk of terrorism, while 28% say they do notincrease the risk of terrorism. But a substantial share in Poland (19%) also refused to respond one way or the other.

Majorities in many countries think immigrants in the country illegally should be deported

Chart showing that half or more of the public in several countries included in the survey support deporting immigrants living in their country illegally.Majorities in most immigrant destination countries surveyed support the deportation of people who are in their countries illegally.

In seven of the 10 EU countries surveyed, majorities support the deportation of immigrants living in their country illegally. In 2007, between 1.7 million and 3.2 million unauthorized, or irregular, migrants were estimated to be living in the 10 EU countries surveyed. The number of asylum seeker applications has increased following the 2015 refugee surge. Since then, the number of rejected asylum applications has increased substantially. Many of these rejected asylum seekers may continue to reside illegally in Europe.

Similarly, majorities in Russia, South Africa, Australia and Japan also support deporting immigrants living in those countries illegally.

Chart showing that more people on the ideological right support the deportation of immigrants living in their country illegally.In the U.S., public opinion is divided on the issue. About half (46%) of the public supports deporting immigrants residing there illegally, while the other half (47%) opposes their deportation.2 The Center estimates 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2016, which represented less than a quarter (23.7%) of the U.S. immigrant population. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has been falling since 2007 and is now at levels last seen in 2004.

In Mexico, fewer than half (43%) say they support the deportation of immigrants living there illegally. In recent years, Mexico has experienced an increasing number of migrants entering the country without authorization from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Mexico has historically been a migrant-sending country: About 12 million people born in Mexico live outside the country, nearly all in the U.S. Among those in the U.S., nearly half are unauthorized immigrants.

In most countries surveyed, those on the right of the ideological spectrum are more likely to support deportation. Similarly, older people in several countries surveyed are more likely to support the deportation of immigrants living illegally in their countries (See Appendix B).

Source: Global Opinions of Immigrants | Pew Research Center

Canadians share most favourable view of immigrants, global study finds

Good summary of the latest Pew report (Global Opinions of Immigrants | Pew Research Center for full report):

Canadians have the most favourable opinion of immigrants among the world’s top migrant destination countries, viewing newcomers as a strength rather than a burden, says a new international survey.

The report by Washington-based Pew Research Center also found Canadians are the least likely to blame immigrants for crime or an increased risk of terrorism, among the respondents in 18 countries that together host half of the world’s migrants.

“Canada is on the top of the list in believing immigration is a plus to the country,” said Jeffrey Reitz, director of ethnic, immigration and pluralism studies at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, who is not involved in the survey.

“It also shows Canada is less polarized than the other countries on immigration as all Canadian political parties are on board with immigration. Even those on our right are more positive about immigration than the left in many other countries.”

Sixty-eight per cent of Canadian respondents in the survey believed immigrants make the country stronger while only 27 per cent said newcomers are a liability because they take jobs and social benefits, said the report released Thursday.

Canada was followed by Australia, where 64 per cent of respondents favoured immigration; the United Kingdom and Sweden, both at 62 per cent; and with Japan, at 59 per cent, rounding up the top five. In Mexico, currently a destination and transit country for tens of thousands of migrants fleeing violence in Latin America, 57 per cent of people welcome migrants while 37 per cent considered them a burden.

In six European Union member states surveyed, public perception about immigration has shifted since 2014 after the arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. In Greece, Germany and Italy, the share of adults in favour of immigrants dropped significantly.

“In most countries surveyed, those on the left of the ideological spectrum are more positive about immigration’s impact on their country than those on the right,” said the 24-page report.

“In many countries surveyed, those with higher levels of education, younger adults, and those with higher incomes are more likely to say immigrants make their countries stronger because of their work and talents.”

The survey interviewed 19,235 people in 18 countries, including 1,056 Canadians, with five questions focusing on public attitude towards immigrants, integration, crime, terrorism and deportation. The Canadian portion of the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points

In Canada, people across the political spectrum share positive views of immigrants, with 81 per cent of left-leaning Canadians and 65 per cent of self-described conservative respondents in favour of newcomers. The 16 percentage-point gap was the second narrowest among the 18 countries.

In Greece, where the political gap was the narrowest, at just 13 percentage points, people were overwhelmingly opposed to immigration, with just 6 per cent of conservative respondents and 19 per cent of leftists in favour of migrants.

However, public attitudes are mixed on immigrants’ willingness to adapt to their new country’s customs and way of life, said the survey.

People in Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the United States, France and Sweden are more likely to say immigrants are inclined to integrate into their society, while their counterparts in Hungary, Russia, Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland, Israel and Australia all said the opposite. Canadians are split in their views on whether immigrants want to fit in or not.

Eighty per cent of survey respondents in Canada said immigrants are no more to blame for crime and 65 per cent said immigrants don’t increase the risk of terrorism, compared to 17 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, who said otherwise.

The majority in most countries surveyed support the deportation of people who are in their homeland illegally, and Canada is no exception. While 53 per cent of Canadians said irregular migrants should be removed, only 37 per cent disagreed with the statement.

Percentage of people in various countries who supported the following statements:

Immigrants no more to blame for crime:

  • Canada: 80%
  • U.S.: 77%
  • France 76%
  • UK: 74%
  • Spain: 68%
  • 18-country median: 50%

Immigrants do not increase risk of terrorism:

  • Mexico: 65%
  • South Africa: 62%
  • Canada: 61%
  • Japan: 60%
  • France: 59%
  • U.S.: 56%
  • 18-country median: 48%

Immigrants are a strength:

  • Canada: 68%
  • Australia: 64%
  • UK: 62%
  • Sweden: 62%
  • Japan: 59%
  • U.S.: 59%
  • 18-country median: 56%

Source: Canadians share most favourable view of immigrants, global study finds

Majority of Americans continue to say immigrants strengthen the U.S.

More data from Pew, confirming the highly partisan nature of views:

The American public’s views of the impact immigrants have on the country remain largely positive – and deeply partisan.

Partisan gap in views of immigrants as wide as at any point in at least 25 yearsAs in recent years, a majority (62%) say immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents. Just 28% say immigrants are a burden on the country because they take jobs, housing and health care, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.

These attitudes have changed little in the past few years, but they are very different from a quarter-century ago. In 1994, attitudes were nearly the reverse of what they are today: 63% of Americans said immigrants burdened the country and 31% said they strengthened it.

An estimated 45.1 million immigrants were living in the U.S. in 2016, accounting for 13.9% of the nation’s population. Most (76%) are in the country legally.

Republicans and Democrats have never been further apart in their views of immigrants than they are currently. Democrats and those who lean to the Democratic Party overwhelmingly say immigrants are a strength to the nation (83% say this); just 11% say immigrants burden the United States. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 38% say immigrants strengthen the country, while nearly half (49%) say they burden it.

Generational differences in views of immigrantsThere also are sizable generational differences in opinions about immigrants. Three-quarters of Millennials (75%) say immigrants strengthen rather than burden the U.S. That compares with 63% of Gen Xers, 52% of Baby Boomers and 44% in the Silent Generation. In 1994, roughly comparable shares of Gen Xers, Boomers and Silents expressed positive views of immigrants.

Generational differences are evident in both parties but are particularly stark among Republicans. More than half of Millennial Republicans (58%) say immigrants strengthen the country, compared with just 36% of Gen Xer Republicans and even smaller shares among older GOP generations. Among Democrats, there are only modest generational differences in these views, with no fewer than seven-in-ten of those in all generations saying this, including nearly nine-in-ten Millennial (88%) and Gen Xer (87%) Democrats.

Note: See full topline results and methodology

Source: Majority of Americans continue to say immigrants strengthen the U.S.

Immigrant share in U.S. nears record high but remains below that of many other countries

Good recap of comparative statistics:

Nearly 14% of the U.S. population was born in another country, numbering more than 44 million people in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Immigrant share of U.S. population approaches historic highThis was the highest share of foreign-born people in the United States since 1910, when immigrants accounted for 14.7% of the American population. The record share was 14.8% in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants lived in the United States.

The foreign-born population in the U.S. grew substantially during the late 1800s, when immigration from Europe and elsewhere brought millions of new residents to the nation’s shores. In the 1920s, the U.S. adopted a series of more restrictive immigration laws, eventually leading to the establishment of a national-origin quota system in 1924 and a subsequent decline in the foreign-born share of the nation’s population. That immigration system was not changed until 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act created the same overarching immigration laws that the U.S. still uses today. Since 1965, at least 59 million immigrants have come to the United States.

Immigrant share in U.S. is lower than in many other countriesEven though the U.S. has more immigrants than any other country, the foreign-born share of its population is far from the highest in the world. In 2017, 25 countries and territories had higher shares of foreign-born people than the U.S., according to United Nations data.

In 2017, large majorities of populations in some Persian Gulf nations, such as the United Arab Emirates (88%) and Kuwait (76%), were born in other countries. (Most foreign-born persons living in Persian Gulf nations are labor migrants and live in the region temporarily.)

Foreign-born people also accounted for a substantial share of the population in Australia (29%), New Zealand (23%) and Canada (21%), as well as in several European countries, such as Switzerland (30%), Austria (19%) and Sweden (18%).

Explore detailed tables on the number and share of immigrants and emigrants by country.

The share of foreign-born people has changed over time in many nations, just as it has in the U.S. Several European countries, as well as other immigrant destinations (Canada and Australia, for example), have seen steady increases in recent decades. But some nations have seen their immigrant shares drop. In several Central and Eastern European countries – such as Latvia and Estonia – more people are leaving than entering, and remaining immigrants are getting older and dying, all leading to a decreasing share of foreign-born people.

In several immigrant destination countries, larger shares of publics want fewer or no immigrants to move to their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in the spring of 2018. However, support for taking in high-skilled immigrants and refugees fleeing war remains high in some destination countries.

Worldwide, most people do not move across international borders. In all, only 3.4% of the world’s population lives in a country they were not born in, according to data from the UN. This share has ticked up over time, but marginally so: In 1990, 2.9% of the world’s population did not live in their country of birth.

Source: Immigrant share in U.S. nears record high but remains below that of many other countries

Many worldwide oppose more migration – both into and out of their countries

Latest good data and analysis by Pew Research, showing where Canada stands. Relatively large number on concerns about out migration in Canada (more than one-third) surprised me as I had not seen those numbers before:

As the number of international migrants reaches new highs, people around the world show little appetite for more migration – both into and out of their countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 27 nations conducted in the spring of 2018.

Across the countries surveyed, a median of 45% say fewer or no immigrants should be allowed to move to their country, while 36% say they want about the same number of immigrants. Just 14% say their countries should allow more immigrants. (Those who said no immigrants should be allowed volunteered this response.)

In Europe, majorities in Greece (82%), Hungary (72%), Italy (71%) and Germany (58%) say fewer immigrants or no immigrants at all should be allowed to move to their countries. Each of these countries served as some of the most popular transit or destination countries during Europe’s recent surge in asylum seekers. (In several countries, most disapprove of how the European Union has handled the refugee issue.)

People in other countries around the world hold views similar to those in Europe. Large majorities in Israel (73%), Russia (67%), South Africa (65%) and Argentina (61%) say their countries should let in fewer immigrants. In every country surveyed, less than a third say their nation should allow more immigrants to enter.

Worldwide, a record 258 million people lived outside their country of birth in 2017, up from 153 million in 1990. Their share of the global population is also up, reaching 3.4% in 2017, compared with 2.9% in 1990.

In recent years, a surge in migration has focused public attention on issues related to this, leading to the rise of political parties that question national immigration policies in some destination countries. More than 2 million migrants have sought asylum in Europe since 2015. In the Americas, thousands of Central American families and children have sought to enter the United States. (Recently, immigration has declined as an issue of public concern in parts of Western Europe, even as it has remained a top issue in U.S.)

Together, the 27 countries surveyed by the Center have more than half of the world’s international migrants. The U.S., with 44.5 million immigrants in 2017, has the largest foreign-born population in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia (12.2 million), Germany (12.2 million) and Russia (11.7 million).

Meanwhile, among the countries surveyed, immigrants make up the largest shares of national populations in Australia (29%), Israel (24%), Canada (22%) and Sweden (18%). About 14% of the U.S. population is foreign born, a share comparable to that of Germany (15%), the UK (13%) and Spain (13%).

See our interactive map of destinations and origins of migrants around the world.

Outmigration also widely seen as a problem

At the same time, people in many countries worry about people leaving their home for jobs in other countries. Among surveyed nations, Greece and Spain – two countries that have seen significant numbers of people move abroad in recent years – have the highest shares of people who say this is a very or moderately big problem (89% and 88%, respectively).

About eight-in-ten (79%) say this in Mexico, which has one of the world’s largest numbers of people living outside of their country, at 13 million, according to the United Nations. (The country’s mass migration to the U.S. has slowed over the past decade or so.) In India, the nation with the largest international migrant population (16.6 million), 64% say people leaving for jobs elsewhere is a big problem.

In many countries that are home to large foreign-born populations (whether by total number or by share), few say people leaving their country for jobs elsewhere is a big problem. In the U.S., for example, 38% say outmigration for jobs is a big problem. In Sweden, 18% say the same.

In many countries, more people today say outmigration is a very big or moderately big problem than in 2002, when the Center began asking this question. In Russia, Japan, South Korea, Kenya, Poland and Italy, the share saying this has climbed about 15 percentage points or more during this time. (Fifteen countries have survey data from both 2002 and 2018.)

In fact, since 2002, the only surveyed countries where worries over emigration due to jobs abroad have declined significantly are Germany and Canada. The share who say outmigration is a big problem in Germany fell by almost half (from 64% in 2002 to 33% in 2018), while the share in Canada declined from 55% to 37%.

On Dec. 10, representatives of most countries worldwide are expected to gather in Morocco to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a non-legally binding agreement intended to manage migration for both origin and destination countries. However, the compact’s effect on future migration remains unknown, in part because several nations have said they will not adopt it. This list includes the U.S., Australia, Hungary and Poland.

Note: See full topline results (PDF) and methodology here.

Source: Pew Research Center

Latinos Increasingly Concerned About Their Place In U.S. Society, Survey Finds

Hardly surprising given the language of President Trump and the impact of his policies:

One out of every two Latinos in the United States says that life has become more difficult for them in the past year, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.

Mark Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at Pew and a co-writer of the survey, says the findings reflect a turn “towards being pessimistic about the country, about the direction of the country and also the future for their own children.”

Lopez says Latinos have traditionally been more optimistic than the general U.S. population about life in the United States. “But that’s changed,” he says.

Nearly 4 in 10 Latinos say they experienced some kind of harassment related to their ethnicity in the past year.

Chart showing that four-in-ten Latinos experienced an incident and heard expressions of support tied to their background in the past year.

Yet a similar number say they have also heard expressions of support for Latinos.

The experience of 38-year-old Janet Sadriu illustrates both of these findings.

Sadriu was driving on a two-lane, 35 mile-an-hour city street in Houston recently when a driver passed her on the right, pulled next to her and started yelling obscenities at her at a red traffic light. She pulled out her phone and started recording him.

Houston resident Janet Sadriu recorded this video when a driver started yelling obscenities at her at a red traffic light.

“I don’t know him,” says Sadriu, “but he automatically assumed I’m Hispanic. I have black hair, I’m not blue-eyed and white.”

“Learn English,” he rants in the video. “It’s my country. Get out.”

Sadriu was born in Mexico. She’s a U.S. citizen and has lived in the United States since 2009.

“I was shocked and shaken,” she says. “I was afraid that this man was going to follow me and pull out a gun.”

Sadriu, whose 2-year-old daughter was in the car with her, filed a police report.

Sadriu says she was angry when she posted her video on social media. “I was thinking of other immigrants who are out of status,” she explained, “and who are afraid to speak up or ashamed and would not expose this man’s ugly behavior.” But she’s also hoping for change, so that “by the time my daughter is older, she is going to live in a world where all the racism and hate and bullying is gone.”

She says the response has been overwhelmingly kind and supportive.People from all over don’t agree with this type of behavior,” she says.

According to the Pew survey, 38 percent of Latino respondents experienced similar incidents in the past year. Some said they were asked not to speak Spanish in public or were told to go back to their country.

Nearly two-thirds of Latino respondents say that Trump administration’s policies have been harmful to their communities. The survey found many Latinos are more worried about deportation and family separation. They are also more concerned about their personal finances than in past years, even though the country’s economy is doing well and Latino unemployment is at historic lows, according to Pew.

Social media documents harassment

Other recent examples of harassment include an incident in May, when a lawyer in Manhattan threatened to call ICE agents on the kitchen staff making his lunch.

Last month, a Colorado woman harassed two women for speaking Spanish at a supermarket.

At Andy’s Restaurant in Lovettsville, Va., in October, a Guatemalan family was accosted by a white woman finger-wagging at them for speaking Spanish. In the video, the woman is heard demanding, “show me your passports,” followed by, “go back to your f****** country.”

A response to the belligerent woman was posted on Andy’s Facebook pageby the restaurant owners. “Thank you for thinking that you have a right to express your venomous and vitriolic views — no matter how odious and ignorant — wherever and whenever you desire,” they posted. “Thank you —and we mean this with all the aforementioned respect that you rightfully deserve — for never returning to Andy’s. You are not welcome.”

Comments to Andy’s Facebook post quickly poured in from all over the country with words of support like Caroline Hart’s: “Thank god for human beings like you.”

Janet Sadriu, the Houston mom who experienced verbal harassment while driving “just for my looks,” has a message for Hispanics who encounter such harassment. She urges them “not to be afraid and speak up.” There are more good than bad people out there, she says.

Source: Latinos Increasingly Concerned About Their Place In U.S. Society, Survey Finds

Shifting Public Views on Legal Immigration Into the US

Lots of good data here, suggesting more limited support for Trump administration policies:

Many unaware that most immigrants in the U.S. are here legally.

Since 2001, decline in the share saying legal immigration should be decreasedWhile there has been considerable attention on illegal immigration into the U.S. recently, opinions about legal immigration have undergone a long-term change. Support for increasing the level of legal immigration has risen, while the share saying legal immigration should decrease has fallen.

The survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 5-12 among 2,002 adults, finds that 38% say legal immigration into the United States should be kept at its present level, while 32% say it should be increased and 24% say it should be decreased.

Since 2001, the share of Americans who favor increased legal immigration into the U.S. has risen 22 percentage points (from 10% to 32%), while the share who support a decrease has declined 29 points (from 53% to 24%).

The shift is mostly driven by changing views among Democrats. The share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who say legal immigration into the U.S. should be increased has doubled since 2006, from 20% to 40%.

Growing share of Democrats support increased legal immigration into the U.S.Republicans’ views also have changed, though more modestly. The share of Republicans and Republican leaners who say legal immigration should be decreased has fallen 10 percentage points since 2006, from 43% to 33%.

Still, about twice as many Republicans (33%) as Democrats (16%) support cutting legal immigration into the U.S.

The new survey, which was largely conducted before the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border involving immigrant children being separated from their parents, finds deep and persistent partisan divisions in a number of attitudes toward immigrants, as well as widespread misperceptions among the public overall about the share of the immigrant population in the U.S. that is in this country illegally:

Fewer than half of Americans know that most immigrants in the U.S. are here legally. Just 45% of Americans say that most immigrants living in the U.S. are here legally; 35% say most immigrants are in the country illegally, while 6% volunteer that about half are here legally and half illegally and 13% say they don’t know. In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, lawful immigrants accounted for about three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the United States.

Republicans are split in their views of undocumented immigrantsMost feel sympathy toward unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) are very or somewhat sympathetic toward immigrants who are in the United States illegally. That view has changed little since 2014, when a surge of unaccompanied children from Central America attempted to enter the U.S. at the border. An overwhelming share of Democrats (86%) say they are sympathetic toward immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, compared with about half of Republicans (48%) .

Fewer say granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants is a “reward.”Just 27% of Americans say that giving people who are in the U.S. illegally a way to gain legal status is like rewarding them for doing something wrong. More than twice as many (67%) say they don’t think of it this way. Since 2015, the share saying that providing legal status for those in the U.S. illegally is akin to a “reward” for doing something wrong has declined 9 percentage points. (Americans also broadly support granting legal status to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.)

Most Americans do not think undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit serious crimes. Large majorities of Americans say that undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. are not more likely than U.S. citizens to commit serious crimes (65% say this) and that undocumented immigrants mostly fill jobs citizens don’t want (71% say this). These opinions, which also are divided along partisan lines, are virtually unchanged since 2016.

Most people who encounter immigrants who do not speak English well aren’t bothered by this. Most Americans say they often (47%) or sometimes (27%) come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English. Among those who say this, just 26% say it bothers them, while 73% say it does not. The share saying they are bothered by immigrants speaking little or no English has declined by 12 percentage points since 2006 (from 38% to 26%) and 19 points since 1993 (from 45%).

Source: Shifting Public Views on Legal Immigration Into the US