The U.S. foreign-born population has risen to its highest level since 1920, with 13 percent of all those living in the nation in 2010 having been born elsewhere, a new report from the Census Bureau shows.
Forty million of those residing in the U.S. in 2010 were born in other countries, up from 31 million, or 11 percent of the total, a decade earlier. The foreign-born share of the population dropped between 1920 and 1970, hitting a low of 4.7 percent in 1970, before rising again for several decades.
But that growth has slowed in recent years as immigration has dropped, census officials said Thursday. Most of the recent increase in the foreign-born population came between 2000 and 2006, said Elizabeth M. Grieco, chief of the bureau’s foreign-born population branch.
California is home to the lion’s share of the foreign-born population, with 1 in 4 residing in the Golden State, the new report shows. Twenty-seven percent of the state’s population of 37 million in 2010 was born abroad, up from 26 percent in 2000.
Three other big states – New York, Texas and Florida – accounted for a third of the nation’s foreign-born population, with New York having the second-highest total at 11 percent. West Virginia had the smallest percentage, with just 1 percent born outside the U.S.