Next: The first wave — Europeans

Immigrant population booms

Waves of Europeans fled famine, chaos and tyranny in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, swelling the country with new faces and accents. They settled in the greatest concentrations in Eastern cities and across the Midwest.

After World War II, immigration slowed. But a new boom of immigrants from Asia and Latin America began in the 1960s and has continued to grow. The percentage of immigrants is back up to the peak proportion seen in 1920. Another difference is that a slight majority of the current boom do not have citizenship.

These census figures do not indicate documented or undocumented immigration, and it is likely that undocumented immigrants are undercounted altogether in this data.

Percentage of immigrants over time

Citizens: XX%

Noncitizens: XX%

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, 2011


XX of the U.S. population

Percent of U.S. population composed of immigrants

Where newcomers have settled

Where immigrants live, percent of state population

  • 0

  • 1

  • 2

  • 4

  • 6

  • 8

  • 10%+


Latin Americans

North Americans

Latin Americans


Latin Americans

NOTE: Oceania values also include foreign-born reported in areas, such as Antarctica, with insufficient data. Citizenship data for 1960 is interpolated.

SOURCE: Post analysis of Integrated Public Use Microdata (University of Minnesota) collection of census data.