BETWEEN 2010 and 2017, 95 lakh new immigrants settled in the US. After accounting for deaths and those who returned home, 45 lakh of these new arrivals remained in the US when a count was taken in July 2017. And over 8 lakh of these 45 lakh — more than 1 in 6 — were from India, the highest number of new immigrants from any single country, government data show.
Figures from the American Community Survey, released by the US Census Bureau last week (The Indian Express, September 14), show that the country’s “foreign-born” population has reached its highest share since 1910. Immigrants, whose share in the US population had peaked at 14.7% in 1910, accounted for 13.7% in July 2017, and are projected to reach a new high of 14.8% by 2027, according to an analysis by the non-profit Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
As of July 2017, the foreign-born population (both legal and illegal) living in the US was 4.45 crore, up from just under 4 crore in 2010. The total includes 26 lakh from India, up from a little under 18 lakh in 2010. This is the second largest immigrant population from any country, next only to 28 lakh Chinese immigrants. The 26 lakh Indian immigrants are followed by Filipinos (20 lakh). Other communities who account for a million or more post-2017 arrivals in the US are Salvadorans, Vietnamese, Cubans, Dominicans and Koreans.
In terms of share, the Indian immigrant population has grown by 47%, or nearly half, in these seven years. Several other immigrant populations have grown faster than their Indian counterparts. These include Nepal (up 120% from 2010), Myanmar (up 95%) and Bangladesh (up 62%). The numbers of these communities, however, are much smaller than the Indian immigrant population.
Some estimates suggest the overall count of immigrants is higher than 4.45 crore. The Department of Homeland Security has previously estimated that 19 lakh immigrants are missed by the American Community Survey, so the total in 2017 was likely 4.64 crore, according to the CIS data analysis (expressed in millions). Also, there were 1.71 crore US-born minor children with an immigrant parent in 2017, so the total of immigrants and their children would rise from 4.45 crore to 6.16 crore. That would represent 1/5th of the total US population of 32.57 crore.