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Percentages of Countries' Native Populations Residing in US
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++Addition++John Derbyshire, who like Razib Khan epitomizes everything our approach to immigration should aim for, takes note at The Corner. I should point out, as Alex brings up in the comments, that the percentages are not of a country’s total worldwide population that lives in the US–I do not have sufficient data for that. Instead, the table shows the population living in the US as a percentage of the total population currently living in the home country.

The following table shows the the number of each country’s native populace–by place of birth, not simply by descent–that is currently residing in the US as a percentage of that country’s own resident population. Data are available here. All figures are from 2007:

Country US population % in US
Guyana 244,191 31.75
Trinidad & Tobago 225,239 21.32
Jamaica 587,623 21.14
El Salvador 1,108,289 15.95
Mexico 11,739,560 10.80
Cuba 980,008 8.60
Dominican Republic 747,885 7.99
Haiti 544,466 6.25
Honduras 422,674 5.65
Guatemala 683,807 5.37
Nicaragua 233,808 4.12
Ireland 140,135 3.41
Lebanon 126,012 3.21
Panama 103,314 3.19
Ecuador 402,294 2.92
Hong Kong 200,734 2.88
Laos 187,200 2.87
Armenia 79,223 2.67
Bosnia & Herzegovina 119,768 2.63
Canada 816,385 2.44
Liberia 77,214 2.42
South Korea 1,050,730 2.14
Albania 76,136 2.11
Costa Rica 87,220 2.11
Philippines 1,708,542 1.88
Israel/Palestine 136,787 1.66
Portugal 170,039 1.60
Taiwan 363,602 1.59
Peru 414,120 1.44
Greece 151,729 1.42
Colombia 603,653 1.36
Vietnam 1,102,167 1.29
Poland 487,695 1.27
Jordan 71,844 1.19
Great Britain 662,530 1.09
Cambodia 143,967 1.03
Bulgaria 61,844 0.84
Hungary 83,028 0.83
Somalia 72,507 0.80
Romania 169,977 0.76
Germany 624,202 0.76
Bolivia 66,368 0.73
Italy 419,112 0.72
Ukraine 301,504 0.65
Venezuela 155,413 0.60
The Netherlands 92,573 0.56
Chile 88,271 0.54
Iran 318,770 0.49
Ghana 103,541 0.45
Argentina 170,306 0.42
Iraq 107,608 0.39
Australia 69,983 0.34
Russia 405,989 0.29
Thailand 184,464 0.28
Japan 353,581 0.28
Syria 52,692 0.27
France 152,135 0.24
Malaysia 57,080 0.23
Kenya 84,036 0.23
Morocco 69,466 0.21
Spain 82,165 0.20
Afghanistan 60,904 0.19
Brazil 344,929 0.18
South Africa 78,979 0.18
Ethiopia 131,904 0.17
Pakistan 275,433 0.17
Egypt 132,677 0.17
India 1,513,953 0.13
Turkey 93,984 0.13
Nigeria 177,563 0.13
China 1,367,772 0.10
Bangladesh 135,014 0.09
Indonesia 82,153 0.04

Relative to size on the international stage, Western hemisphere countries to our south are not surprisingly represented most heavily. Ireland has a considerably larger portion of its native population living in the US than anywhere else in Europe, something people in New England are most aware of.

The acerbic criticism that whiterpeople newspapers like the LAT are slitting their own throats in their support of open borders should be expanded to include their foreign focus. Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, and North Korea are frequently in the news even though few people living here actually call any of those places home. To the extent that Hispanic immigrants with eighth grade educations find interest in American newspapers, it’s not because of their coverage of the Middle East “Peace Process”. Meanwhile, Mexico, which should interest everybody in the US, is short-shafted.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. In addition to geographic proximity, we might also add that the top three source countries are Anglophone. I notice that a lot of other proximal Anglophone countries (Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, and so on) are not even on the list.

  2. I notice that a lot of other proximal Anglophone countries (Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, and so on) are not even on the list.It could be that the original source cut off countries with small populations. Guyana with ~750K is the only one under a million.


  3. Here's the immigration source. It looks like it cuts off with countries that have fewer than 50,000 natives currently residing in the US. That figure is an absolute one, so small nations like Barbados don't show up, even though the percentage of natives from the island who live in the US now is probably pretty high.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I'd definitely say that your Mexico number is quite low. As someone who works in the field of immigration research, I'd say that the number of non-authorized immigrants from Mexico alone exceeds twelve million, much less adding in legal Mexican immigrants. The total number is quite higher than displayed.

  5. Anon,

    The 12 million figure is on the low end of estimates of Mexicans in the US. The figures are from the Pew Hispanic Center, so understating the extent of illegal immigration is probably a consequence. Keep in mind also that this is just tracking the foreign born, not their children.

  6. The fact that you present this as a "percentage" is misleading. In the case of Guyana, for example, if the population in Guyana is 769K, and there are 244K Guyanese in the US, then it is *not* true that 244/769 represents the fraction of Guyanese in the US. That fraction should be 244/(769 + 244 + X), where X is the number of Guyanese living in countries other than the US or Guyana. That is, at most 24% of Guyanese live in the US, and definitely less if there are a significant number of them elsewhere in the world.

    With the math you're using, it's possible for you to report more than 100% of a nation's population as being in the US. For example, if 500K Guyanese suddenly moved from there to here, then your spreadsheet would have reported that 277% of Guyana is in the US, which is a numerical impossibility.

  7. Alex,

    That seemed like the easiest presentational method I could come up with. I did not claim that it shows the percentages of total Guyanese currently live in Guyana, the US, and/or anywhere else–only that the figure is the residing US population as a percentage of the total home population. Without knowing non-US residing foreign population totals, how would you suggest I present the figures?

  8. Question:
    Does the total from the chart, 35,742,470 represent the total number of non-native-born people living the US?

  9. I agree that if you read your wording of the post carefully, that you're not misrepresenting your numbers. It has caused confusion though – John Derbyshire's call-out in "The Corner" did in fact get it wrong (and you certainly can't claim that Derbyshire is innumerate).

    I think using percentages are misleading – you just don't use them unless the number in the numerator is a part of the whole in the denominator. Imagine you were trying to measure something about the number of black kids taking AP courses. You could take the number of black kids the classes and divide by the number of white kids in those same classes and truthfully label it "number of black kids in AP classes as a percentage of the number of white kids", but why would that be useful in any way?

    If I imagine how, say, the Economist might present these data, I'd starting with the number of immigrants in the US from each country and then scaling it by some factor that's exactly inversely proportional to the source country's native population and call it "Immigrant population scaled by resident population of home country". Numerically it's equivalent to what you've done here but without the "this is part of a whole" implication that attaching the percent sign generates.

  10. Anon,

    It looks like Pew cuts off countries with fewer than 50,000 people living in the US, so it's a little higher than that.


    I've pointed your concerns out at the top of the post.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you for the clarification on the total. I find that interesting because one of my arguments in opposition to current immigration in the US is the lack of assimilation.

    We had massive immigration in the 1880's-1920's, but those immigrants were not dominated by any one cultural grouping. We had Italians, Poles, Irish, Hungarians, Russians, etc. Each group spoke a different language. Thus, employers of immigrants used English in the workplace and effectively compelled everyone to learn English. The various immigrant groups intermarried, intermingled, and assimilated.

    Today the situation is different. Based on the numbers in your post, more than half of the non-native born people in the US today were born in Spanish speaking Central and South American countries (Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Jamacia, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Chile, Costa Rica, and Bolivia).

    The net result is a very different situation from the 1880's to the 1920's. At that time immigrant communities of Irish, Italians, Poles, and Germans had to learn English to communicate with each other. After intermarriages, their 2nd and 3rd generations were "mutts" whose primary self-identification was "American" because many of them had 2+ nationalities in their background.

    Today, with one cultural/linguistic group making up 50%+ of the immigrants, they are not intermingling, they are not intermarrying, and they are not assimilating. Instead we have 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations still speaking Spanish and not learning English. They don't have to. Their communities and employers speak Spanish.

  12. Great post! I did a visualization of these data to make it even clearer.

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