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Michigan State University

Immigrants in the United States: Statistics


Suggested statistical sources.  Statistical information can be found in many sources, both print and online. Given the necessary time for a book to come to press the most recent information is likely to be found online. Note, as well, statistical sources cited in background and reference sources you consult.

Key Organizations

International Organization on Migration (IOM)
IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UNHCR is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

  • Publications - UNHCR publishes a wide range of materials ranging from basic documents to refugee and international law reports and research and evaluation papers. The agency's worldwide operations are covered in the two flagship annual publications - The Global Appeal and Global Report.
  • Statistics - This page provides data, trends, an interactive data visualization platform and statistical reports on the people of concern to UNHCR: refugees, asylum seekers, returned refugees, internally displaced and stateless people around the world.

Raw Data

PSR : Largest archive, containing social science research data provides services and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis. Extensive help pages are available. Be sure to check out: Latin American Migration Project Mexican Migration Project Migration Data by County, 1980 to 1982   For more information, contact Hailey Mooney, the MSU Library's Data Librarian.

Major Statistical Reference Sources


ProQuest Statistical Insight. 1973-present. Provides abstracting, indexing, and full text for publications from hundreds of public domain and licensed sources. Institutions can subscribe to the entire collection or to selected modules.

Pew Research Center - A non-partisan public opinion polling and demographic research organization. Includes public opinion polls on immigration.

U.S. Census Bureau Immigration Data - The U.S. Census Bureau provides a variety of demographic, social, economic, geographic, and housing information on the foreign-born population in the United States.


Additional Statistical Websites : This he website contains links to developing country data on inequality, trade, aid, education, agriculture, migration, health, FDI, population, governance, private sector and debt, and to websites that host and/or catalogue household survey and census data. The links take you directly to the data you need or to the database or publication that contain the data. For each area, there is a brief data description or list of the variables available. Searchable, general databases that include data for many different variables can be found under databases together with topic-specific databases.

Immigration Data Matters : The Immigration: Data Matters guide shows where to locate some of the most credible, up-to-date US and global immigration-related data compiled by government and non-governmental sources. The online guide, also available in hard copy, includes clickable links to resources that offer immigrant population estimates; the size of the unauthorized immigrant population; English proficiency rates; the share of immigrants in the workforce; education, health, and income and poverty statistics relating to immigrants; and other data.

Migration Policy Institute Immigration DataHub : Get instant access to the latest immigration statistics, maps, and numbers for the United States and other countries. For example, find where Mexican immigrants live in the United States; the amount of remittances sent to India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Lebanon; and the top global destinations for Irish migrants. The Data Hub showcases the most current national and state-level demographic, social, and economic facts about immigrants to the US; as well as stock, flow, citizenship, net migration, and historical data for countries in Europe, North America, and Oceania. Track historical immigration trends, see which global cities have the the largest immigrant populations, and learn more about refugee and asylum patterns.

UNHCR (The UN Regugee Agency).  Be sure to check out the UNHCR Online Population Database which contains data and trends on the "Population of concern to UNHCR": refugees, asylum-seekers, returned refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) protected/assisted by UNHCR, returned IDPs, stateless persons, and others of concern to UNHCR, in more than 150 countries.

OECD International Migration

OECD iLibrary : Note that migration is a choice under themes. Be sure to check out International Migration Outlook.

UNData : a single portal for UN data.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

U.S. Statistical Sources

Congressional Research Guide to Internet Resources on Immigration.

Statistical yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (online, print, and microfiche resources).  The Centennial Year Edition (1990) of the Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice, INS, 1990, contains an Appendix I giving a history of major pieces of legislation regarding immigration and a brief summary of the purpose and intent of the legislation.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services History Office and Library Catalog

U.S. Census Portal

U.S. Census Bureau Immigration Data - The U.S. Census Bureau provides a variety of demographic, social, economic, geographic, and housing information on the foreign-born population in the United States.

Selected Books

Facts about American immigration / David M. Brownstone, Irene M. Franck.  New York : H.W. Wilson, 2001.  818pp.  Man Library  JV6465 .B73 2001  : The massive, worldwide emigration to the United States has been a major feature of world history for more than five centuries and into the present day. Facts About American Immigration explores this extraordinary saga, focusing on who came to the U.S.

Subject Guide

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