20 Metro Areas Home to the Majority of Unauthorized Immigrants: Study

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Public housing in New York City

Most of the United States’ 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants live in just 20 major metropolitan areas, with the largest populations in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, according to new study by the Pew Research Center.

The Center’s used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, using the same residual method as its previous reports on unauthorized immigrants.

Data revealed the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population is highly concentrated, more so than the U.S. population overall.

In 2016, the 20 metro areas with the most unauthorized immigrants were home to 6.5 million of them, or 61 percent of the estimated nationwide total. By contrast, only 37 percent of the total U.S. population lived in those metro areas, the study noted.

By far, data revealed the biggest unauthorized immigrant populations in 2016 were in the New York (1.1 million) and Los Angeles metro areas (925,000).

Both metros had unauthorized immigrant populations that exceeded the statewide total in every state except California and Texas. No other metro area approached a million. Meanwhile, the smallest unauthorized immigrant populations among the top 20 areas were in Austin and Charlotte (100,000 each).

The top 20 metropolitan areas for unauthorized immigrants have been remarkably consistent over the past decade, according to the Center’s analysis. The top 18 areas have ranked among the top 18 in each year since 2005.

More, authors found unauthorized immigrants account for slightly less than one-in-four foreign-born U.S. residents.

Among the top 20 metro areas, unauthorized immigrants make up somewhat higher shares of immigrants in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Denver, Austin, Houston, Phoenix and Washington. T

hey make up a somewhat lower share of all immigrants in the Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Miami and San Francisco metro areas.

A full copy of the report can be found here. 

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