The undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. remained virtually unchanged across the space of a year at the end of the last decade.
There were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2010, according to new estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center, roughly the same as the year before.
Unauthorized immigrants made up 3.7% of the nation's population in 2010.
The number of unauthorized immigrants in the nation's workforce--8 million in March 2010—did not change from the 2009 estimate either. They made up 5.2% of the labor force.
The number of children born to at least one unauthorized-immigrant parent in 2009 was 350,000.They comprised 8% of all U.S. births, essentially the same as a year earlier.
Some other key points from the new report are:
- The decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants from its peak in 2007 appears due mainly to a decrease in the number from Mexico. Mexicans are still the largest group of unauthorized immigrants, 58% of the total.
- The number of unauthorized immigrants decreased from 2007 to 2010 in Colorado, Florida, New York and Virginia.
- Bucking the national trend, the combined unauthorized immigrant population increased in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas from 2007 to 2010.
- Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is below 2007 levels, it has tripled since 1990, when it was 3.5 million and grown by a third since 2000, when it was 8.4 million.
Why did these changes occur? We don’t know for sure. There are many possible factors.
- Recovery from the economic recession has been slow and unemployment remains high.
- We’ve also seen important changes in the level of immigration enforcement and in enforcement strategies, not only by the federal government but also at state and local levels.
- Immigration also is influenced by conditions in the sending countries. That analysis is beyond the scope of this study.