MAMOSA Report — Most of the United States’ 11.1 million undocumented immigrants live in just 20 major metropolitan areas, with the largest populations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.
By far the biggest unauthorized immigrant populations were in the New York and Los Angeles metro areas (1.2 million and 1 million, respectively). No other metro area approached a million. Among the top 20 areas, the smallest unauthorized immigrant populations included Orlando (110,000) and Austin (100,000).
The 11.1 million estimate of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is based on 2014 data. It has remained unchanged since 2009 — down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.
According to estimates, five of the 20 metros with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations are in California and three in Texas.
In California these are: Los Angeles, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose, and in Texas they are: Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin.
Some of these areas could be affected by the Trump administration’s promise to take action against localities that do not cooperate with federal officials in identifying unauthorized immigrants. The president’s executive order (suspended by the Federal Appeals Court) promised to cut federal funds to these “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Mayors in several big cities had said they will not comply with the order.
According to the Census Bureau dataset analysis, the cities with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations include New York City, with an estimated 525,000 unauthorized immigrants; Los Angeles, with an estimated 375,000; and Chicago, with an estimated 140,000. Other cities with available data are Miami (55,000), Denver (55,000), Philadelphia (50,000), Boston (35,000), San Francisco (35,000), Washington, D.C., (25,000) and Seattle (20,000).
Unauthorized immigrants include people who either crossed the border illegally or overstayed their visas. The highest number of unauthorized immigrants is from Mexico, 5.85 million. Other than Mexico, the figure totals 5.3 million which include 1.7 million from Central America and 650,000 from South America.
Over-stayers or people from the Middle East who crossed the border illegally total 140,000.
Unauthorized Asians total 1.45 million out of which overstayers or illegal entrants from India total 500,000. No figures are available for Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.
Unauthorized immigrants from different world regions and other details are shown in the interactive chart below:
(Based on reporting in Pew Research Center Estimates 2014 and the U.S. Census Bureau dataset)