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Useful Immigration Statistics in the United States

Updated and most recent immigration and migration statistics of the United States. How does immigration impact US economy?

According to the UN DESA 2019 data of United Nations, 1 in every 30 people migrate – that is 272 million international migrants out of 7.7 billion of the global population.

The #1 destination for international migrants in 2019 is United States of America (U.S.). Looking at the chart from UN DESA below, U.S has by far more immigrants than any other countries in the world – almost 50 million immigrants. The #1 place of immigrant origin is India, followed by Mexico and China.

Imagine – almost 50 million immigrants – that is about the entire population of South Korea (51,269,185) or Columbia (50,882,891) or more than that of Spain (46,754,778). [#s from]

This 50 million of immigrants make up a significant portion of the U.S society, accounting for about 15% of the total population.

According to the International Monetary Fund report, ““1 percentage point increase in the share of migrants in the adult population increases GDP per person in advanced economies by up to 2 percent in the longer term.”

As many developed countries in the world experience a fall in birth rate, immigrants can boost our working age population;

They bring with them money, skills, experiences and visions that can complement and/or enhance our current market and economy;

Then they will be paying taxes to our government to help fund the social benefits and pensions for our retiring baby-boomers; becoming part of the new consumer market to spend money, purchase products and services of our local businesses;

indirectly expanding our workforce base where we always experience a shortage of talents and labour.

People who make the choice and decision to immigrate tend to be more entrepreneurial. Study shows that immigrants are more likely than native U.S citizens to start a company. This approximately 15% of the U.S. population have started about 30% of American businesses.

And did you know that almost half of all the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants and their children? Read more here at Newsweek.

According to Business Insider, “ Some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies fall into that category, like Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and Alphabet, Google’s parent company.”

Immigrants starting and running businesses means another opportunity of establishing employment, creating products that we sell overseas, which is another way immigrants contribute to the overall economy and GDP.

Immigrants also contribute to the supply of manpower where it is hard for local companies to get skills that are lacking in the current workforce (ex. our scientific and technological sector).

Immigrants also help fill lower skilled or lower paid jobs that may not be easily picked by the native-born Americans. Small businesses benefit from the lower cost, passing down to the lower price that overall Americans enjoy. Did you know that U.S is one of the eight countries in the world that spends the least of their household income on food? Check it out at

U.S. household spends about 6.4% of their income on food meaning there is more money to spend in other aspects of life, boosting the economy. Boosted economy means more business and employment opportunities creating more jobs for the overall American population, more taxes paid to the government to provide services, benefit programs and infrastructures in the cities.

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About the author

Jess Man

Jessica is the Editor-in-Chief and Senior Diversity Advisor at Diversity Social. Jessica has over 10 years of working with and advising employers to be more diverse and create an inclusive working environment.
Jessica's experience spans private and non-profit sectors in multiple industries.
Jessica's expertise experience is beyond Diversity & Inclusion, she is also a certified professional IT recruiter in Data & Analytics, Database administration, Artificial Intelligence area.