What Are the 10 States With the Most Immigrants?


Quick Answer

As of 2012, the five states with the highest numbers of immigrants are California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Nevada, according to the Pew Research Center. Hawaii, Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois are the next five on the list. These rankings represent immigrant percentages of each state's total population.

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Full Answer

When measured in absolute numbers instead of percentages, California, New York, Texas, Florida and New Jersey have the most immigrants, says the Migration Policy Institute. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of immigrants in the United States greatly increased, and the percentage of immigrants in some states grew by more than 200 percent. For example, from 1990 to 2000, the immigrant population in North Carolina rose 224 percent. The reason for these very large increases measured as a percent is that some states, especially in the south, previously had a small immigrant population; relatively small increases in absolute numbers are reflected as large percentage increases.

As of 2014, more than 20 percent of the population in California, Florida, New Jersey and New York is foreign born, notes the Pew Research Center. Nearly 80 percent of the total immigrant population of the United States is in the 15 states with the highest immigrant percentages. Some states, such as Arizona, that traditionally have experienced large immigration growth have fallen in the rankings because other states have experienced a heavier influx of immigrants.

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