Study: Calif. has 23 percent of nation's illegal immigrants

A new study says nearly a quarter of the nation's illegal immigrants live in California, despite a nearly 4 percent drop in the state's illegal population.

A Pew Hispanic Center report released Wednesday estimates California had 2.55 million illegal immigrants in 2009, a 3.8 decrease from the year before. The state accounts for 23 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States.

The study also says illegal immigrants now comprise 6.9 percent of California's population - the highest percentage in the country. California trails only Nevada with illegal labor comprising 9.3 percent of its work force.

Overall, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has dropped for the first time in 20 years.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.