Special Report

The Countries Most Immigrants in the US Are Originally From

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More immigrants are living in the United States than in any other country. Nearly 45 million people who live in the U.S. were born in other countries, according to the Census Bureau. This accounts for one-fifth of the world’s immigrants, based on U.N. data. (Here are the best cities for immigrants.)

Immigrants constitute 13.7% of the U.S. population. This number has been increasing since 1965, when amendments made to the Immigration and Nationality Act ended admissions policies that were based on race and ethnicity. National origins quotas were largely replaced with a more neutral system that gives preference to family reunification and the nation’s labor needs.

Since then, the immigrant population in the country has more than quadrupled. Along with increasing the flow of immigration, the amendments also led to a shift away from Eurocentric immigration toward Asian, Caribbean, and Latin American countries.

To determine the countries of birth of U.S. immigrants from 1960 to 2019, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed immigration figures compiled by the Migration Policy Institute, which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 and 2019 American Community Surveys, and 2000 Decennial Census. Gross national income is in current U.S. dollars (purchasing power parity method) with figures from the World Bank for the most recent year of available data.

Immigrants are defined as people living in the U.S. who were not citizens at birth. The term includes naturalized citizens, green card holders, certain people with work or student visas, those granted asylum or refugee status, and those in the country illegally.

The data shows that although a large number of U.S. immigrants hail from European countries, including the U.K., Germany, Poland, and Russia, immigration from these countries has declined in the last 60 years. Meanwhile, immigration from certain Latin America, Asian, and Caribbean countries has increased significantly. (This is the most distinctive ancestry in every state.)

Over 10 million people who were born in Mexico were living in the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 24.3% of all immigrants. People born in China and India each accounted for over 5% of the immigrant population. U.S. residents born in Russia (or the former Soviet Union) made up less than 1% of immigrants in the U.S. but still accounted for far more of the foreign-born American population than immigrants from other countries, including Switzerland or Sweden, which accounted for 0.1% of the immigrant population.

Click here to see which countries immigrants to the US are from

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25. Russia
> US immigrants born in Russia as of 2019: 392,422 (0.87% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in USSR as of 1990: 333,725 (1.69% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in USSR as of 1960: 690,598 (7.09% of all foreign-born)
> Russia GNI per capita, 2020: $27,550 – #54 highest of 193 countries

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24. Nigeria
> US immigrants born in Nigeria, 2019: 392,811 (0.87% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Nigeria as of 1990: 55,350 (0.28% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Nigeria as of 1960: No data
> Nigeria GNI per capita, 2020: $5,000 – #46 lowest of 193 countries

23. Pakistan
> US immigrants born in Pakistan, 2019: 398,399 (0.89% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Pakistan as of 1990: 91,889 (0.46% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Pakistan as of 1960: 1,708 (0.02% of all foreign-born)
> Pakistan GNI per capita, 2020: $4,710 – #43 lowest of 193 countries

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22. Poland
> US immigrants born in Poland, 2019: 404,107 (0.90% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Poland as of 1990: 388,328 (1.96% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Poland as of 1960: 747,750 (7.68% of all foreign-born)
> Poland GNI per capita, 2020: $33,160 – #44 highest of 193 countries

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21. Ecuador
> US immigrants born in Ecuador, 2019: 431,150 (0.96% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Ecuador as of 1990: 143,314 (0.73% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Ecuador as of 1960: 7,670 (0.08% of all foreign-born)
> Ecuador GNI per capita, 2020: $10,580 – #79 lowest of 193 countries

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20. Peru
> US immigrants born in Peru, 2019: 446,063 (0.99% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Peru as of 1990: 144,199 (0.73% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Peru as of 1960: 7,102 (0.07% of all foreign-born)
> Peru GNI per capita, 2020: $11,510 – #85 lowest of 193 countries

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19. Venezuela
> US immigrants born in Venezuela, 2019: 465,235 (1.04% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Venezuela as of 1990: 42,119 (0.21% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Venezuela as of 1960: 6,851 (0.07% of all foreign-born)
> Venezuela GNI per capita: No data

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18. Brazil
> US immigrants born in Brazil, 2019: 502,104 (1.12% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Brazil as of 1990: 82,489 (0.42% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Brazil as of 1960: 13,988 (0.14% of all foreign-born)
> Brazil GNI per capita, 2020: $14,550 – #86 highest of 193 countries

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17. Germany
> US immigrants born in Germany, 2019: 537,691 (1.20% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Germany as of 1990: 711,929 (3.60% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Germany as of 1960: 989,815 (10.16% of all foreign-born)
> Germany GNI per capita, 2020: $55,770 – #17 highest of 193 countries

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16. United Kingdom
> US immigrants born in UK, 2019: 677,856 (1.51% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in UK as of 1990: 640,145 (3.24% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in UK as of 1960: 833,055 (8.55% of all foreign-born)
> United Kingdom GNI per capita, 2020: $45,170 – #27 highest of 193 countries

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15. Haiti
> US immigrants born in Haiti, 2019: 701,688 (1.56% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Haiti as of 1990: 225,393 (1.14% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Haiti as of 1960: 4,816 (0.05% of all foreign-born)
> Haiti GNI per capita, 2020: $3,100 – #26 lowest of 193 countries

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14. Honduras
> US immigrants born in Honduras, 2019: 745,838 (1.66% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Honduras as of 1990: 108,923 (0.55% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Honduras as of 1960: 6,503 (0.07% of all foreign-born)
> Honduras GNI per capita, 2020: $5,050 – #47 lowest of 193 countries

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13. Jamaica
> US immigrants born in Jamaica, 2019: 772,215 (1.72% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Jamaica as of 1990: 334,140 (1.69% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Jamaica as of 1960: 24,759 (0.25% of all foreign-born)
> Jamaica GNI per capita, 2020: $8,930 – #72 lowest of 193 countries

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12. Canada
> US immigrants born in Canada, 2019: 797,158 (1.77% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Canada as of 1990: 744,830 (3.77% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Canada as of 1960: 952,500 (9.78% of all foreign-born)
> Canada GNI per capita, 2020: $47,580 – #25 highest of 193 countries

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11. Colombia
> US immigrants born in Colombia, 2019: 808,148 (1.80% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Colombia as of 1990: 286,124 (1.45% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Colombia as of 1960: 12,582 (0.13% of all foreign-born)
> Colombia GNI per capita, 2020: $14,280 – #89 highest of 193 countries

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10. Korea
> US immigrants born in Korea, 2019: 1,038,885 (2.31% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Korea as of 1990: 568,397 (2.88% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Korea as of 1960: 11,171 (0.11% of all foreign-born)
> Korea GNI per capita, 2020: $43,650 – #28 highest of 193 countries

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9. Guatemala
> US immigrants born in Guatemala, 2019: 1,111,495 (2.47% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Guatemala as of 1990: 225,739 (1.14% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Guatemala as of 1960: 5,381 (0.06% of all foreign-born)
> Guatemala GNI per capita, 2020: $8,690 – #71 lowest of 193 countries

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8. Dominican Republic
> US immigrants born in Dominican Republic, 2019: 1,169,420 (2.60% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Dominican Republic as of 1990: 347,858 (1.76% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Dominican Republic as of 1960: 11,883 (0.12% of all foreign-born)
> Dominican Republic GNI per capita, 2020: $17,050 – #78 highest of 193 countries

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7. Cuba
> US immigrants born in Cuba, 2019: 1,359,990 (3.03% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Cuba as of 1990: 736,971 (3.73% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Cuba as of 1960: 79,150 (0.81% of all foreign-born)
> Cuba GNI per capita, 0: No data

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6. Vietnam
> US immigrants born in Vietnam, 2019: 1,383,779 (3.08% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Vietnam as of 1990: 543,262 (2.75% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Vietnam as of 1960: No data
> Vietnam GNI per capita, 2020: $8,150 – #69 lowest of 193 countries

5. El Salvador
> US immigrants born in El Salvador, 2019: 1,412,101 (3.14% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in El Salvador as of 1990: 465,433 (2.35% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in El Salvador as of 1960: 6,310 (0.06% of all foreign-born)
> El Salvador GNI per capita, 2020: $7,970 – #68 lowest of 193 countries

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4. Philippines
> US immigrants born in Philippines, 2019: 2,045,248 (4.55% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Philippines as of 1990: 912,674 (4.62% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Philippines as of 1960: 104,843 (1.08% of all foreign-born)
> Philippines GNI per capita, 2020: $9,030 – #73 lowest of 193 countries

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3. China
> US immigrants born in China, 2019: 2,250,230 (5.01% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in China as of 1990: 529,837 (2.68% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in China (includes Taiwan) of 1960: 99,735 (1.02% of all foreign-born)
> China GNI per capita, 2020: $17,080 – #77 highest of 193 countries

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2. India
> US immigrants born in India, 2019: 2,688,075 (5.98% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in India as of 1990: 450,406 (2.28% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in India as of 1960: 12,296 (0.13% of all foreign-born)
> India GNI per capita, 2020: $6,440 – #60 lowest of 193 countries

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1. Mexico
> US immigrants born in Mexico, 2019: 10,931,939 (24.33% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Mexico as of 1990: 4,298,014 (21.74% of all foreign-born)
> US immigrants born in Mexico as of 1960: 575,902 (5.91% of all foreign-born)
> Mexico GNI per capita, 2020: $18,150 – #74 highest of 193 countries

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