Immigration By Country

Immigration continues to be a hot button issue in our polarized society. I shared a book back in 2020 that explored the reasons for this polarization. The book identified several societal changes that contribute to this alarming trend. A recent article provides a glimpse into the societal challenge of immigration, providing this visual that identifies the immigration make-up of countries. The article states that there were 272 million immigrants in 2020, amounting to 3.5% of the global population.

The UN defines an immigrant as someone who has been living in a country other than their country of birth for one year or longer. In addition to new citizens or residents, a variety of people fit under this definition: foreign workers, international students, and refugees

Our World in Data

The article provides some interesting data points as it relates to global immigration statistics. The societal challenges referenced by the book noted above gives us perspective on the polarization topic through a U.S. lens. I’ve shared them again below.


Economist Jed Kolko notes that the most common age for white Americans is fifty-eight, for Asians it’s twenty-nine, for African Americans it’s twenty-seven, and for Hispanics it’s eleven. A report out of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Applied Population Lab found that white births are now outnumbered by white deaths in twenty-six states, up from seventeen in 2014 and four in 2004.


The government predicts that in 2030, immigration will overtake new births as the dominant driver of population growth. About fifteen years after that, America will phase into majority-minority status—for the first time in the nation’s history, non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the population.


According to the Census Bureau, 2013 marked the first year that a majority of US infants under the age of one were nonwhite. Meanwhile, America’s foreign-born population is projected to rise from 14 percent of the population today to 17 percent in 2060, more than 2 percentage points above the record set in 1890.

In 2018, for the first time, Americans claiming “no religion” edged out Catholics and evangelicals to be the most popular response to the General Social Survey’s question on religion. Robert Jones, the CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, projects the religiously unaffiliated will edge out all Protestants in 2051—“a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago,” he writes. When Obama took office, 54 percent of the country was white and Christian. By the 2016 election, that had fallen to 43 percent.

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