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Threaded throughout the history of the United States, immigration has taken on greater prominence in political and policy conversations amid debate over possible reforms to the immigration system, border and national security, and the U.S. role in resettling refugees at a time of record global displacement. Questions about the current and historical pace of immigration, the role of immigrants in the labor market, illegal immigration, humanitarian admission policies, and enforcement practices are often raised.
The U.S. immigrant population stood at more than 43.3 million, or 13.5 percent, of the total U.S. population of 321.4 million in 2015, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data. Between 2014 and 2015, the foreign-born population increased by 899,000, or 2.1 percent, a slower growth rate compared to 2.5 percent between 2013 and 2014.
By compiling some of the most frequently requested facts and figures on U.S. immigration, this article provides answers to questions such as: How many people immigrated to the United States last year? How many entered as refugees, and from which countries? Is Mexico still the top country of origin for U.S.-bound immigrants? Has the number of unauthorized immigrants changed in recent years? What jobs do immigrants tend to hold in the U.S. labor market? And how many U.S. residents are either immigrants or children of immigrants?