Adding Diversity from Abroad by lkm17414


									    Chapter 17.
                                ADDING DIVERSITY
                                FROM ABROAD:
The Foreign-Born Population, 1999

About 10 percent of Americans                                               Since 1970, the composition of
are foreign born — less than                                                the foreign-born population has
the highest share this century                                              changed dramatically.
(15 percent in 1910), but more than                                         Between 1970 and 1999, the share of foreign-born U.S.
the lowest share (5 percent in 1970).                                       residents from Europe dropped from 62 percent to
                                                                            16 percent. Over the same period, the share of the
Having all the facts on America's growing cultural di-                      foreign-born from Asia tripled, from 9 percent to 27
versity is essential for good government and good                           percent, and the share from Latin America increased
business. In some parts of the country, the character-                      from 19 percent to 51 percent. In 1999, two-thirds of
istics of the foreign-born population must be taken                         foreign-born Latin Americans were from Central
into account when developing educational programs,                          America and Mexico.
designing street signs, and providing social services.
However, this population defies generalization, be-                              Figure 17-1.
cause it is both diverse and rapidly changing.                                   The Foreign-Born Population: 1900-99

Changes in the immigration laws from 1965 to 1990                                                      Foreign-born population (in millions)
contributed to increased migration from abroad and                                                     Percent of total population
generated greater diversity among the newcomers.
                                                                                 Millions                                                  Percent
The foreign-born population in the United States grew                       30                                                                       16
from 10 million in 1970,1 the lowest total in this cen-
tury, to 14 million in 1980, and 20 million in 1990. In                                                                                              14
March 1999, the estimated foreign-born population in                        25
the United States was 26 million — not statistically
different than the high reached in 1997.

    Words That Count                                                        15                                                                       8

    • The foreign-born population refers to
      people who were not U.S. citizens at birth.                           10

    • The native population refers to people who                                                                                                     4

      were either born in the United States or a U.S.
      Island Area, such as Puerto Rico, or who were                                                                                                  2
      born abroad of a U.S. citizen parent.

                                                                             0                                                                       0
                                                                                 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1999
      The number of people in the United States who were foreign born was        Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1900 to 1990 censuses and March 1999
9.6 million in 1970 and 9.7 million in 1960.                                     Current Population Survey.

                                                                                            Population Profile of the United States: 1999 67
U.S. Census Bureau
Thirty-five percent of the foreign-born population en-                                    as naturalized citizens to be poor (22 percent com-
tered the U.S. in the 1990s and 30 percent in the                                         pared with 11 percent). The general poverty rates for
1980s. More than one in every three foreign-born                                          the foreign-born population ranged from 11 percent
people in the United States (37 percent) was a natu-                                      for both Europeans and Asians to 24 percent for Latin
ralized citizen, according to the 1999 Current Popu-                                      Americans. Yet these figures masked further differences
lation Survey (CPS). Among those who entered the                                          within each group. For example, among Latin Americans,
country before 1980, 79 percent were naturalized.                                         the poverty rate for Central Americans and Mexicans was
                                                                                          28 percent.
Significant differences exist between
the foreign-born and native                                                               The foreign-born population was
populations, as well as important                                                         highly concentrated in a few states,
differences among the major                                                               according to the 1999 CPS.
foreign-born population groups.                                                           In 1999, California had the highest percentage of for-
                                                                                          eign-born residents, 24 percent.4 In fact, California
In 1999, 25 percent of family households maintained
                                                                                          alone accounted for 30 percent of the foreign-born
by a foreign-born person contained five or more mem-
                                                                                          population living in the United States. Two out of ev-
bers, compared with 13 percent of family households
                                                                                          ery three foreign-born people living in the United States
maintained by a native-born person. About 40 percent
                                                                                          could be found in just five states: California, Florida,
of families with a Central American or Mexican house-
                                                                                          New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
holder were this large, compared with 11 percent of
those with a European householder.                                                            4
                                                                                                The percent foreign-born in California is not statistically different than
                                                                                          the percent foreign-born in New York state.

The foreign-born were less likely
                                                 Figure 17-2.
than the native population to
have a high school diploma.
                                                 Foreign-Born Population by State: 1999
Among the population aged 25                                                                                                                 Percent foreign-born
                                                                                                                                                  Less than 10.0
and older, 66 percent of the                                     AK
                                                                                                                                                  10.0 to 19.9
foreign-born were high school                                                                                                                     20.0 or more
                                                                                                                                             United States = 9.6
graduates, compared with 86
percent of the native-born popu-
lation. The share of high school                                         WA
                                                                         7.4                                                                                             NH 4.2     ME
graduates ranged from 83 per-                                                                   MT            ND                                                       VT 3.4       2.7
                                                                                                1.2           0.6
cent for Asians to 48 percent of                                       OR
                                                                                    ID                                                                                    NY          MA 11.4
                                                                                                              SD                       WI
Latin Americans.2                                                                   6.1
                                                                                                  WY          1.0                      2.1       MI
                                                                                                  1.3                                            4.2                                  RI 9.7
                                                                                                                             IA                                      PA             CT 9.7
                                                                              NV                               NE            2.9                                     3.4           NJ 14.3
In 1998, 18 percent of the for-                                              14.7         UT
                                                                                                                                         IL     IN
                                                                                                                                                         2.3                      DE 4.1
                                                                  CA                      4.4                                           9.2     1.9            WV
eign-born population lived in                                    24.0
                                                                                                      6.4           KS           MO
                                                                                                                                                               1.2     VA
                                                                                                                                                                                 MD 10.1
                                                                                                                                                                                DC 10.9
                                                                                                                    4.9          2.2
poverty, compared with 12 per-                                                                                                                  TN
cent of the native-born popula-                                                      AZ
                                                                                    13.7          NM
                                                                                                                     3.2         AR
                                                                                                                                 2.6                             2.2
tion. 3 Those without U.S.                                                                                                              MS

citizenship were twice as likely                                                                               TX                LA
                                                                                                              11.7               2.5
                                                           HI                                                                                                    FL
                                                          15.2                                                                                                  16.0
      For more information on educational
attainment, see Chapter 9.
      The 1999 Current Population Survey
collects poverty statistics for 1998. See
Chapter 13 for more information on the 1999
                                                 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 1999.
poverty rates for the foreign-born population.

68 Population Profile of the United States: 1999
                                                                                                                                                                             U.S. Census Bureau
    The Census Bureau Can
    Tell You More
    • For more detailed information, consult the fol-
      lowing U.S. Census Bureau Current Population
      Report: The Foreign Born Population in the United
      States: March 1999 by Angela Brittingham.

    • Look for complete reports and detailed tables
      on the Census Bureau's World Wide Web site
      ( Click on “F” and select “For-
      eign-Born Population Data.”

    • Contact the Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch
      of the U.S. Census Bureau at 301-457-2403
      or e-mail

    • For information on publications and other re-
      sources, see Appendix A.

                                                          Population Profile of the United States: 1999 69
U.S. Census Bureau

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