U.S. Immigrant Population Hit Record High Last Year

Immigrants are now nearly 14% of America.
TIJUANA, MEXICO - APRIL 29: Members of a caravan of Central Americans who spent weeks traveling across Mexico walk from Mexico to the U.S. side of the border to ask authorities for asylum on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico. More than 300 immigrants, the remnants of a caravan of Central Americans that journeyed across Mexico to ask for asylum in the United States, have reached the border to apply for legal entry. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images

The immigrant population in the U.S. hit a record high last year as the number of both legal and illegal immigrants ramped up.

The number of U.S. residents born in another country rose by close to one million last year, reaching a record 46.2 million people, according to new U.S. Census estimates.

Immigrants are now nearly 14% of the total U.S. population, the Census data shows.

One driver of the increase is more legal immigration through visas and taking in refugees, much of which was put on hold during the pandemic. The Biden administration has accepted tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, where the Taliban regained control in 2021, and Ukraine, which is at war with Russia.

At the same time, the administration has struggled to address millions of illegal migrants flooding over the nation’s southern border over the last year.

“It’s worth pointing out that these data relate to the middle of 2022, which is before a lot of the recent surges, but some of the people who came in through the southern border are included here as well, so it’s a combination of all of these factors,” Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, told The Daily Wire.

The U.S. is seeing an increase of people coming from particular countries south of the border, including Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras, Passel said.

Meanwhile, the largest immigrant population in the U.S. came from Mexico, with almost 11 million immigrants, but the number of Mexican immigrants is decreasing, Passel said, and the number of El Salvadoran immigrants coming in has remained about the same for five years.

The U.S. is also seeing “significant growth” in immigrants from Africa and Asia, including China, Passel said, as well as a “large increase” in Afghan immigrants. Afghan immigrants were less than 200,000 last year but still double the number they were five years ago, he said.

Some states have seen more new immigrants settle within their borders than others.

Florida took in 200,000 immigrants last year, the biggest increase by far of any state, according to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.


Other states that experienced significant increases in new immigrants were Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Iowa.

Several major U.S. cities are currently scrambling to address a migrant crisis precipitated by thousands of new illegal migrants crossing the border and showing up in need of food and shelter.

In New York City, more than 110,000 migrants have arrived since last year, and 60,000 are still being housed on the city’s dime, causing officials to open additional homeless shelters.

Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, announced city-wide budget cuts to deal with the issue and warned earlier this month that the migrant crisis will “destroy” New York City.

Chicago is dealing with a similar crisis as the mayor pushes for dozens of huge tent structures that could house 200 migrants each.

Critics have warned that an insecure border is a serious national security threat since it can allow foreign nationals with unknown intentions and even terrorists to bypass border agents undetected.

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