How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The nation's immigrant population, illustrated

Source: Immigration Policy Center

As far as interactive maps and graphics charting the nation's immigrant population go, the Immigration Policy Center has released the granddaddy of them all this week. Based on census, economic and other data, a 50-state interactive map on the IPC homepage gives way to detailed state-by-state compilations of demographic, economic, educational, entrepreneurial, political and other information on the foreign-born, Latino and Asian populations of each state.

Each state page is accompanied by a downloadable infographic, like the one above for California, and a state fact sheet. Just a few highlights from the California fact sheet:



  • Immigrants comprised 34.6% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 6.5 million workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • 45.6% of immigrants (or 4.6 million people) in California were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010 (up from 31.2% in 1990)—meaning that they are eligible to vote.

  • Immigrants in California pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes, and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year. In California, “the average immigrant-headed household contributes a net $2,679 annually to Social Security, which is $539 more than the average US-born household.”

  • Together, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians comprised more than one-quarter of all businesses in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

  • The number of immigrants in California with a college degree increased by 42.8% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.



IPC is the policy and research arm of the American Immigration Council, an Washington, D.C. nonprofit that's connected to the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The interactive map can be downloaded here.

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