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Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population

Posted By briana On January 4, 2011 @ 6:17 am In Families,Genealogy,Population | 3 Comments

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On January 1, 1892, the federal government opened the immigration station on Ellis Island in New York Harbor [2]. Between 1892 and 1954, over 12 million immigrants were processed into the country there. Annie Moore, a 15 year-old Irish girl, was the first immigrant to enter the United States at Ellis Island.

The U.S. Census Bureau has collected data on place of birth [3] since the 1850 Census [4]. Here are some facts about immigrants in the United States:

  • The foreign-born population [5] accounted for 10 percent of the total U.S. population in 1850, and 15 percent in 1890 [6]. Today, the foreign-born comprise 12 percent of the population.
  • In 1910 [7] most foreign-born residents spoke English, German, Italian, Yiddish, or Polish. By 1960 [8], Spanish had replaced Yiddish as one of the most-often spoken languages. In 2007 [9], 62 percent of individuals who spoke a non-English language at home spoke Spanish. American Community Survey estimates from 2010 [10] show the county with the highest percentage of the population 5 and over that spoke Spanish at home was Starr, Texas, at 95.9 percent.
  • Between 1960 and 2000, the percentage of foreign-born U.S. residents [PDF 1.7 MB] [11] of European descent decreased from 75 to 16 percent. At the same time, the percentage of foreign-born U.S. residents born in Latin America increased from 6 to 51 percent.
  • According to the Current Population Survey [12], 23 percent of the nation’s population are either first or second generation residents: 12 percent of the population were born in another country and 11 percent were born in the United States and have at least one foreign-born parent.

    Ellis [13]


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URL to article: http://blogs.census.gov/2011/01/04/historical-census-statistics-on-the-foreign-born-population/

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[1] Tweet: https://twitter.com/share

[2] Ellis Island in New York Harbor: http://www.nps.gov/elis/historyculture/index.htm

[3] place of birth: http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/immigration.html

[4] 1850 Census: http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1850.html

[5] foreign-born population: http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0081/twps0081.html

[6] 1890: http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1890.html

[7] 1910: http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1910.html

[8] 960: http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1960.html

[9] 2007: http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/acs/index.html

[10] 2010: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb10-cn90.html

[11] percentage of foreign-born U.S. residents [PDF 1.7 MB]: http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p23-206.pdf

[12] Current Population Survey: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/foreignborn_population/cb10-159.html

[13] Image: http://blogs.census.gov/wp-content/blogs.dir/11/files/2012/03/6a0120a61b56ed970c0148c74c8c33970c-320wi.jpg

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