Population and Social Characteristics

Which Countries Immigrants in the US Are Originally From

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Half a million immigrants could get U.S. citizenship under a new plan from the Biden administration announced Tuesday. The plan is aimed specifically at spouses of U.S. citizens who lived in the U.S. for 10 years. The move comes about two weeks after the administration announced it would halt asylum processing at the U.S. border with Mexico when a certain threshold is reached in an effort to clamp down on immigration.

No doubt, immigration is a hot button issue this presidential election. In fact, it was named the top U.S. problem for the third month in a row, according to a Gallup poll as illegal border crossings have been setting records over the past few years. But immigration is not a static issue.

While most immigrants to the U.S. today are from Mexico, there were times when most immigrants were from Italy, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It was only around 1980 that immigration from Mexico topped all other countries. Today, of the estimated 46 million immigrants living in the U.S., about 10.7 million are from Mexico, according to Census data.

To determine which countries U.S. immigrants are from, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed immigration figures compiled by the Migration Policy Institute, which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010, 2019, and 2022 American Community Surveys, and 2000 Decennial Census. We included here the 35 countries that are the country of birth for at least 250,000 immigrants. We also added gross national income in constant 2021 dollars (purchasing power parity method) with figures from the World Bank. For reference, the U.S. GNI per capita is $72,497.

The term “immigrants” or “foreign born,” the institute explains, “refers to people residing in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth.” Therefore, naturalized citizens are included in the count. Also included are lawful permanent residents, certain legal nonimmigrants (those who enter with student or work visas), refugees or asylum seekers, and persons illegally residing in the U.S. (Also see: States Where the Federal Government Encounters the Most Illegal Immigrants.)

Looking at the trend over time, immigrants born in European countries comprised a larger share of foreign-born American residents in the 1960s and 1970s. Italian-born Americans accounted for over 10% of foreign-borns in 1970.

This changed as immigration from south of the border increased as well as immigration from India and China. Specifically, there were just about 759,000 Mexico-born American residents in 1970 compared to over 10 million today. Similarly, there were about 51,000 Indian-born American residents and 172,000 Chinese-born at the time. Today, there are 2.8 million Indian-born and 2.2 million Chinese born people residing in the U.S.

Why Are We Covering This

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Immigration continues to be a key issue in the 2024 election year and is ranked as one of the most pressing topics among voters nationwide, according to polls. For some voters, immigration ranks even above the economy and inflation, as they worry the influx of migrants could be affecting crime, national security, and government spending among other aspects of life. Needless to say, the U.S. was built on immigration and there have always been fully naturalized Americans who were born elsewhere. Of course, there are also those who reside in the U.S. illegally who were also born elsewhere. While we do not have this breakdown, we can at least see how this changed over time.

35. Thailand

  • US immigrants born in Thailand, 2022: 263,120 (0.57% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Thailand as of 2000: 169,801 (0.55% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Thailand as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 54,803 (0.39% of all foreign-born)
  • Thailand GNI per capita, 2021: $19,531 (compared to $19,287 world avg)
  • Country region: South Eastern Asia

34. Guyana

Source: J.G. de Kruijf, The Netherlands / Wikimedia Commons
  • US immigrants born in Guyana, 2022: 286,951 (0.62% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Guyana as of 2000: 211,189 (0.68% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Guyana as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 48,608 (0.35% of all foreign-born)
  • Guyana GNI per capita, 2021: $21,902 (compared to $19,287 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

33. Ethiopia

Source: GlobalP / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Ethiopia, 2022: 293,083 (0.63% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ethiopia as of 2000: 69,531 (0.22% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ethiopia as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 7,516 (0.05% of all foreign-born)
  • Ethiopia GNI per capita, 2022: $2,687 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Africa

32. Bangladesh

  • US immigrants born in Bangladesh, 2022: 294,277 (0.64% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Bangladesh as of 2000: 95,294 (0.31% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Bangladesh as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 4,989 (0.04% of all foreign-born)
  • Bangladesh GNI per capita, 2022: $8,116 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Central Asia

31. Italy

  • US immigrants born in Italy, 2022: 294,936 (0.64% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Italy as of 2000: 473,338 (1.52% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Italy as of 1970: 1,008,533 (10.48% of all foreign-born)
  • Italy GNI per capita, 2022: $50,777 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Southern Europe

30. Nicaragua

Source: riderfoot / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Nicaragua, 2022: 295,280 (0.64% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Nicaragua as of 2000: 220,335 (0.71% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Nicaragua as of 1970: 16,125 (0.17% of all foreign-born)
  • Nicaragua GNI per capita, 2022: $6,539 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Mexico and Central America

29. Japan

  • US immigrants born in Japan, 2022: 330,096 (0.71% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Japan as of 2000: 347,539 (1.12% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Japan as of 1970: 120,235 (1.25% of all foreign-born)
  • Japan GNI per capita, 2022: $46,420 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Asia

28. Poland

Source: RossHelen / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Poland, 2022: 374,056 (0.81% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Poland as of 2000: 466,742 (1.50% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Poland as of 1970: 548,107 (5.70% of all foreign-born)
  • Poland GNI per capita, 2022: $41,975 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Europe

27. Taiwan

  • US immigrants born in Taiwan, 2022: 377,949 (0.82% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Taiwan as of 2000: 326,215 (1.05% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Taiwan as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 75,353 (0.54% of all foreign-born)
  • Taiwan GNI per capita, 2022: N/A (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Asia

26. Russia

  • US immigrants born in Russia, 2022: 398,123 (0.86% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Russia/Soviet Union as of 2000: 340,177 (1.09% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Soviet Union as of 1970: 463,462 (4.82% of all foreign-born)
  • Russia GNI per capita, 2022: $37,327 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Europe

25. Pakistan

Source: HomoCosmicos / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Pakistan, 2022: 399,086 (0.86% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Pakistan as of 2000: 223,477 (0.72% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Pakistan as of 1970: 6,182 (0.06% of all foreign-born)
  • Pakistan GNI per capita, 2022: $5,628 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Central Asia

24. Iran

  • US immigrants born in Iran, 2022: 407,283 (0.88% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Iran as of 2000: 283,226 (0.91% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Iran as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 121,505 (0.86% of all foreign-born)
  • Iran GNI per capita, 2022: $15,477 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Central Asia

23. Ukraine

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  • US immigrants born in Ukraine, 2022: 427,163 (0.92% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ukraine as of 2000: 275,153 (0.88% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ukraine as of 1970: N/A ( of all foreign-born)
  • Ukraine GNI per capita, 2022: $15,997 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Europe

22. Nigeria

  • US immigrants born in Nigeria, 2022: 448,405 (0.97% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Nigeria as of 2000: 134,940 (0.43% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Nigeria as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 25,528 (0.18% of all foreign-born)
  • Nigeria GNI per capita, 2021: $5,514 (compared to $19,287 world avg)
  • Country region: Western Africa

21. Peru

  • US immigrants born in Peru, 2022: 471,988 (1.02% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Peru as of 2000: 278,186 (0.89% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Peru as of 1970: 21,663 (0.23% of all foreign-born)
  • Peru GNI per capita, 2022: $14,104 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

20. Ecuador

  • US immigrants born in Ecuador, 2022: 518,287 (1.12% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ecuador as of 2000: 298,626 (0.96% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Ecuador as of 1970: 36,663 (0.38% of all foreign-born)
  • Ecuador GNI per capita, 2022: $13,311 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

19. Germany

  • US immigrants born in Germany, 2022: 537,484 (1.16% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Germany as of 2000: 706,704 (2.27% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Germany as of 1970: 832,965 (8.66% of all foreign-born)
  • Germany GNI per capita, 2022: $63,619 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Western Europe

18. Brazil

  • US immigrants born in Brazil, 2022: 618,525 (1.34% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Brazil as of 2000: 212,428 (0.68% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Brazil as of 1970: 27,069 (0.28% of all foreign-born)
  • Brazil GNI per capita, 2022: $17,319 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

17. Venezuela

  • US immigrants born in Venezuela, 2022: 667,664 (1.45% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Venezuela as of 2000: 107,031 (0.34% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Venezuela as of 1970: 11,348 (0.12% of all foreign-born)
  • Venezuela GNI per capita, 2022: N/A (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

16. United Kingdom

Source: IakovKalinin / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in United Kingdom, 2022: 676,652 (1.47% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in United Kingdom as of 2000: 677,751 (2.18% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in United Kingdom as of 1970: 686,099 (7.13% of all foreign-born)
  • United Kingdom GNI per capita, 2021: $53,132 (compared to $19,287 world avg)
  • Country region: Northern Europe

15. Haiti

  • US immigrants born in Haiti, 2022: 730,780 (1.58% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Haiti as of 2000: 419,317 (1.35% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Haiti as of 1970: 28,026 (0.29% of all foreign-born)
  • Haiti GNI per capita, 2022: $3,030 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Caribbean

14. Jamaica

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  • US immigrants born in Jamaica, 2022: 804,775 (1.74% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Jamaica as of 2000: 553,827 (1.78% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Jamaica as of 1970: 68,576 (0.71% of all foreign-born)
  • Jamaica GNI per capita, 2021: $9,337 (compared to $19,287 world avg)
  • Country region: Caribbean

13. Canada

  • US immigrants born in Canada, 2022: 821,322 (1.78% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Canada as of 2000: 820,771 (2.64% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Canada as of 1970: 812,421 (8.45% of all foreign-born)
  • Canada GNI per capita, 2022: $56,955 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Northern America

12. Honduras

Source: Manuel Chinchilla / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Honduras, 2022: 843,774 (1.83% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Honduras as of 2000: 282,852 (0.91% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Honduras as of 1970: 19,118 (0.20% of all foreign-born)
  • Honduras GNI per capita, 2022: $5,976 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Mexico and Central America

11. Colombia

  • US immigrants born in Colombia, 2022: 928,053 (2.01% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Colombia as of 2000: 509,872 (1.64% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Colombia as of 1970: 63,538 (0.66% of all foreign-born)
  • Colombia GNI per capita, 2022: $17,965 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South America

10. Korea

Source: CJNattanai / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Korea, 2022: 1,045,100 (2.26% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Korea as of 2000: 864,125 (2.78% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Korea as of 1970: 38,711 (0.40% of all foreign-born)
  • South Korea GNI per capita, 2022: $48,913 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Asia

9. Guatemala

Source: SteveTMP12 / Wikimedia Commons
  • US immigrants born in Guatemala, 2022: 1,148,543 (2.49% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Guatemala as of 2000: 480,665 (1.55% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Guatemala as of 1970: 17,356 (0.18% of all foreign-born)
  • Guatemala GNI per capita, 2022: $12,177 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Mexico and Central America

8. Dominican Republic

Source: Lya_Cattel / E+ via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Dominican Republic, 2022: 1,279,900 (2.77% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Dominican Republic as of 2000: 687,677 (2.21% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Dominican Republic as of 1970: 61,228 (0.64% of all foreign-born)
  • Dominican Republic GNI per capita, 2022: $21,831 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Caribbean

7. Cuba

  • US immigrants born in Cuba, 2022: 1,312,510 (2.84% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Cuba as of 2000: 872,716 (2.81% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Cuba as of 1970: 439,048 (4.56% of all foreign-born)
  • Cuba GNI per capita, 2022: N/A (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Caribbean

6. Vietnam

Source: HuyThoai / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Vietnam, 2022: 1,331,192 (2.88% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Vietnam as of 2000: 988,174 (3.18% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Vietnam as of 1970: N/A — 1980 data: 231,120 (1.64% of all foreign-born)
  • Vietnam GNI per capita, 2022: $12,466 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Eastern Asia

5. El Salvador

Source: Shackleford-Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in El Salvador, 2022: 1,407,622 (3.05% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in El Salvador as of 2000: 817,336 (2.63% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in El Salvador as of 1970: 15,717 (0.16% of all foreign-born)
  • El Salvador GNI per capita, 2022: $10,480 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Mexico and Central America

4. Philippines

Source: fazon1 / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in Philippines, 2022: 1,982,333 (4.29% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Philippines as of 2000: 1,369,070 (4.40% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Philippines as of 1970: 184,842 (1.92% of all foreign-born)
  • Philippines GNI per capita, 2022: $9,866 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Eastern Asia

3. China

  • US immigrants born in China, 2022: 2,217,894 (4.80% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in China as of 2000: 988,857 (3.18% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in China as of 1970: 172,132 (1.79% of all foreign-born)
  • China GNI per capita, 2022: $20,794 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Eastern Asia

2. India

Source: Roop_Dey / iStock via Getty Images
  • US immigrants born in India, 2022: 2,839,618 (6.15% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in India as of 2000: 1,022,552 (3.29% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in India as of 1970: 51,000 (0.53% of all foreign-born)
  • India GNI per capita, 2022: $8,399 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: South Central Asia

1. Mexico

  • US immigrants born in Mexico, 2022: 10,678,502 (23.12% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Mexico as of 2000: 9,177,487 (29.50% of all foreign-born)
  • US immigrants born in Mexico as of 1970: 759,711 (7.90% of all foreign-born)
  • Mexico GNI per capita, 2022: $21,314 (compared to $19,648 world avg)
  • Country region: Mexico and Central America

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