More than three out of five noncitizens under age 35 have been in the U.S. for five years or more, with a majority coming before they were 18 years old, according to a new brief released today from the U.S. Census Bureau. Most of these immigrants — about 80 percent — were young adults from 18 to 34.
The brief Noncitizens Under Age 35: 2010-2012 uses multiyear data from the American Community Survey to present demographic and socio-economic information about the noncitizen population under age 35. Noncitizens include legal permanent residents, temporary migrants, unauthorized immigrants and other resident statuses. The American Community Survey does not include a question on legal status of a resident; therefore, the brief compares only the characteristics of citizens with noncitizens.
"This brief gives an overview of some common characteristics of the younger noncitizen population," said Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau's Foreign-Born Population Branch. "The statistics provide new insight into the composition of this unique group."
Almost one-third of the 2.6 million noncitizens age 18 to 24 living in the U.S. were enrolled in college. Among 18- to 24-year-old noncitizens born in Asia, 65 percent were enrolled in college, followed by those born in Europe (54 percent), Africa (54 percent) and the Latin America and Caribbean region (18 percent).
Geographic Distribution and Region of Birth
Nationwide, noncitizens under age 35 represented about one-fourth (26 percent) of the total foreign-born population. At the state level, this proportion varied from about one out of five (18 percent) to two out of five (41 percent). Traditional immigration gateway states like California, Texas, New York and Florida account for the majority of noncitizens under 35.
More than 64 percent of the 10.3 million noncitizens in the U.S. under the age of 35 were born in Latin America and the Caribbean. Asia (23 percent) made up the second highest group of under age 35 noncitizens in the U.S., followed by Europe (6 percent).