Amid the huge internal and international displacement of millions of Ukrainians after their country was invaded by Russia in February 2022, the United States is extending protection to as many as 180,000. In what has become Europe’s largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, nearly 8 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced and more than 6 million civilians (predominantly women and children) have fled the country—the vast majority seeking refuge in neighboring Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.

The Biden administration’s actions to welcome some Ukrainians began on March 3, when Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months for certain Ukrainians already present in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimated that 59,600 Ukrainians would be eligible for the program, which provides relief from deportation and work authorization. On April 21, the administration announced plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians through a combination of the Uniting for Ukraine program—a private sponsorship program that aims to temporarily bring displaced Ukrainians to the United States—and other, more permanent entry pathways. In more ad hoc fashion, the U.S. government admitted a reported 20,000 Ukrainians who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization to enter; the practice was ended in late April.

The new Ukrainian arrivals are joining an existing Ukrainian diaspora in the United States that numbers more than 1.1 million. The Ukrainian diaspora includes close to 355,000 immigrants from Ukraine, who account for about 1 percent of the total 44.9 million immigrants living in the United States as of 2019. Beyond the 355,000 immigrants, the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States is comprised of people born in the United States or other countries who claim Ukrainian ancestry.

This article focuses on the population of Ukrainian immigrants in the United States pre-invasion of Ukraine, using the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), which is the most recent comprehensive dataset available from the U.S. Census Bureau given pandemic-related data-collection difficulties for the 2020 ACS.

Read the full article about Ukrainian immigrants by Joshua Rodriguez and Jeanne Batalova at Migration Policy Institute.