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Net Migration Between the U.S. and Abroad Added 595,000 to U.S. Population

6 Jan, 2020


Net international migration added 595,000 to the U.S. population between 2018 and 2019, the lowest level this decade. This is a notable drop from this decade’s high of 1,047,000 between 2015 and 2016.
 
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2019 population estimates released today show that international migration added about 7.9 million people to the nation’s population since the last census in 2010. Annual growth in net international migration slowed between 2015 and 2016 and has been declining since.
 
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Migration patterns measured since 2015 primarily reflect three major trends: declining immigration of the foreign born, increasing foreign-born emigration, and changes in Puerto Rican migration following Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
 
China replaced Mexico to become the largest sending country of foreign-born immigrants to the United States as of 2018.
 
The population estimates show that net migration from Puerto Rico to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, which rose after Hurricane Maria, reversed between 2018 and 2019. More people are moving to than away from Puerto Rico.
 
Foreign-born immigration is the largest contributor to net international migration and is measured based on the American Community Survey (ACS) estimate of the foreign born whose residence one year ago was outside the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Island Areas.
 
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Foreign-born immigration this decade peaked at 1.46 million in 2016 and declined by 250,000 to 1.21 million in 2018, according to the ACS.
 
China replaced Mexico to become the largest sending country of foreign-born immigrants to the United States as of 2018. At the beginning of the decade, Mexico was the largest, but immigration from Mexico has dropped significantly since the recession at the end of the last decade.
 
Since 2010, immigration from China and India has either approached or surpassed Mexican immigration levels while immigration from Canada has remained relatively unchanged.
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