The United States is the most popular destination in the world for immigrants. According to data provided by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), approximately 1.3 million foreign born individuals moved to the U.S. in the year 2014 alone. People come to the U.S. from all over the planet for a wide variety of different reasons. While some come to reunite with family members, others come to seek American citizenship all on their own, and still more come to seek work opportunities using an O-1 Visa or an H-1B Visa. Immigrants also come to the many different regions within the United States, with some particular states being especially popular spots for new arriving individuals.
The Ten Most Popular States for Immigrants in 2016
According to data provided by the Pew Research Center, the ten states with the largest share of immigrants as part of their collective population are as follows:
- California (27.0%)
- New York (22.7%)
- New Jersey (21.2%)
- Florida (19.8%)
- Nevada (19.0%)
- Hawaii (17.0%)
- Texas (16.2%)
- Massachusetts (15.1%)
- Maryland (14.1%)
- Illinois (13.8%)
Notably, the most popular states for immigrants have remained relatively stable over the last few decades. Pew’s comprehensive state level data extends back to 1980. Through that time, California has consistently had the largest percentage of immigrants in entire the country. As the largest state, California has also has, by far, the biggest total immigration population. California currently has more than 10 million immigrant residents. The states with the second, third and fourth largest immigrant population, Texas, New York and Florida respectively, each have fewer than 5 million total immigrants.
California Has a Long History of Immigration
Immigrants first started moving in large numbers to the West Coast of the U.S. during the Gold Rush of the 1840s. That era brought many settlers from all over the globe to the state of California. In addition to the fortune seekers from the east coast of the United States, the gold rush also brought many foreign born immigrants. Most prominently were immigrants from China, who helped to build California in that period. As time passed, California also saw large waves of migrants from Europe in the late 19th century, Mexico and other Latin American Countries starting in the 1960s through the current years, and most recently from all over the world, including India, the Philippines, Korea and the entire continent of Africa. Of course, it is also important to recognize that there have been some unfortunate legal setbacks, especially in the early 20th century. Immigration was dramatically restricted for several decades. Additionally, immigrants and their families have always faced some level of discrimination. We cannot forget the battle for equal rights that has been fought. There is no doubt that there is still more work to be done. Fortunately, we have made considerable progress and important victories have been won. California continues to be the number one spot for immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States.
Los Angeles is the Top City for Immigrants in the Country
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U.S., but it contains by far the country’s largest immigrant population. According to research conducted by the California Immigration Policy Center (CIPC), almost 3.5 million immigrants live in Los Angeles county alone. That means that more than one out of three Los Angeles residents is an immigrant. Many more people have immigrants within their family or social circle. Migrants to Southern California also tend to be younger on average than the native born population. Indeed, immigrants currently make up around half of the LA County labor force. Further, nearly two out of three children in the Los Angeles Unified School District has at least one immigrant parent. Our community has seen tremendous positive impacts from immigrants. Without the vital contributions of immigrants, Los Angeles, and our key industries such as the entertainment industry, would not be able to thrive.
Do You Need Immigration Help in L.A.?
Our Los Angeles immigration lawyers are standing by, ready to help. Our firm always handles each case with the personalized attention that it deserves. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality of legal service. Please do not hesitate to contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you and your family. We proudly serve immigrants throughout Southern California, including in Glendale, Inglewood and Alhambra.