In its recent report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides various data on the foreign national population residing in the United States:

  • The number of foreign residents in the United States without legal authorization — estimated to be about 11 million — increased by about 3,000 since 2000. Most of that increase was due to an increase in the unauthorized population from Mexico. According to DHS, of the 11+ million undocumented, about 6.8 million came from Mexico.
  • From 1860 to 1910, between 13 percent and 15 percent of people in the United States were born in another country. After 1910, the share of the population composed of the foreign born began a steady decline, falling to less than 5 percent by 1970. That share has increased rapidly since 1970; currently, about 40 million U.S. residents are foreign born, making up about 13 percent of the U.S. population — the largest share since 1920.
  • In 2012, three states that account for more than one-fifth of the nation’s population — California, New York, and New Jersey — had a foreign-born population that exceeded 20 percent of each state’s total population.