Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Pew Hispanic survey underscores the truth that the U.S. is a ‘nation of immigrants’

Pew Hispanic survey underscores the truth that the U.S. is a ‘nation of immigrants’

LatinaLista — When speaking before Latino audiences, politicians always like to invoke the premise that “we are a nation of immigrants.” It’s a statement that has never been truer. Pew Hispanic just released a new analysis on the nation’s immigrant population and found it to be 40.4 million-strong in 2011, that’s including the 11 million undocumented immigrants.


According to Pew Hispanic, the United States is the number one destination in the world for immigrants with immigrants comprising 13 percent of the US population. Regardless of the state of the economy, many still see the United States as the proverbial land of opportunity.

In response to a 2012 Pew Global Attitudes survey, more than half (53 percent) of Mexican adults (living in Mexico) feel that their fellow citizens who move to the US have a better life north of the border.

The majority of immigrants are arriving from Latin America and Asia. The main country that contributed the most immigrants in 2011 was Mexico. Mexicans comprise 29 percent of the foreign-born US population. India (4.6%) follows with Philippines (4.5%), China (4.1%), Vietnam (3.1%), El Salvador (3.1%), Korea (2.7%), Cuba (2.7%), Dominican Republic (2.2%) and Guatemala (2.1%) rounding out the top ten.

In comparison with immigrants from other countries, Mexican and Central American immigrants trend younger, in their 30s, compared to all other migrants, even those from South America where the median age is in the 40s.

California, New York and New Jersey are the top three states with the largest foreign-born populations, followed by Florida, Nevada and Hawaii.

The majority of Mexican (4,263,404) and Central American (863,982) immigrants live in California; and Florida is home to the most immigrants from the Caribbean (1,539,281) and South America (625,363).

Since the United States is a neighbor to Mexico, Central and South America it’s not surprising that the vast majority of immigrants to the United States come from these countries, especially in light of the violence, corruption and disparity that exist in their own countries and which destroys basic hope for a better life.

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