Skip to main content


Census Report: Half of foreign born persons in U.S. are from Latin America, live in four states

The nation’s foreign born population are concentrated in In California, Florida New Jersey, and New York and make up more than one fifth of each state’s population

Hispanic family
Hispanic family | Shutterstock

April 16, 2024 9:11am

Updated: April 16, 2024 9:29am

A new report published by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that more than half of the foreign-born population in the United States are from Latin America and the majority live in only four states.

Those four states, California, Florida, Texas, and New York harbor the majority of the foreign-born population, which in 2022 was estimated to be 46.2 million people, or almost 14% of the U.S. population.

“The foreign-born population in the United States has grown considerably over the past 50 years in both size and share of the U.S. population. In 1970, it numbered 9.6 million (4.7 percent) of the total U.S. population. By 2022, it was estimated to be 46.2 million (13.9 percent) of the total U.S. population,” the report says.

Foreign born persons more educated, growing older and staying longer

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey indicates that while some of the foreign population are becoming more educated and growing older, most American states have witnessed double-digit percentage increases in the past decade.

Statistics show that foreign born persons became more educated from 2010 to 2022. Today, about 75% foreign born persons are high school educated, a jump from about two thirds of the U.S. population.

Estimates also indicate that America’s foreign-born population has grown older in the past 12 years, suggesting that many migrants who come to the U.S. are staying for a long time.

About two-thirds of the foreign-born population came to the U.S. prior to 2010, and the median age has increased five years to 46.7 years.

More Latinos coming from Central and South America, less from Mexico

In California, Florida, Texas, and New York foreign born persons made up more than one fifth of each state’s population. West Virginia had the smallest foreign born population rate at only 1.8%.

While the largest foreign born demographic was from Latin America, there was a shift in which countries migrants were coming from.

The number of migrants coming from Mexico decreased by a million persons while those from Central and South America increased by more than twice that number at 2.1 million people.

The number of people from Asia also increased from more than a quarter to just under a third and the share of African-born persons increased from 4% to 6%.

U.S. Census report does not provide number of persons in U.S. unlawfully

The Census Bureau report did not reveal how many foreign persons are currently in the U.S. unlawfully.  

However, the report reveals than half of those foreign-born are now naturalized citizens. Those foreign born from Asia and Europe have the highest naturalization rates at two-thirds of their U.S. population.

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.