The United States has a total population of about 320-million people. What percentage of that total includes undocumented immigrants from other countries?
Roughly 3.5 percent, or a little more than 11-million people.
Think of it another way: For every 100 people you meet, roughly 96 are U.S. citizens.
But we need to dive deeper into the numbers to really tell the story of where illegal immigrants can be found and just how prevalent they are in cities big and small.
To do so, I’m reviewing data from the Pew Research Center, which has examined population figures from 2014. Granted, that’s not the current year, but the number of illegal immigrants has neither significantly increased or decreased in that time.
As you might guess, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other large cities attract the largest number of undocumented people. Pew estimates that 6.8-million of the 11.1-million illegal immigrants, or about 61 percent, can be found in the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
But what about after that? How many people in your city are illegal immigrants? And how would that number be expressed as a percentage of your city’s total population?
I randomly picked 10 other cities from the Pew report. As you look at the numbers, remember that overall only about 3.5 percent of the entire population is made up of undocumented immigrants. (All numbers from Pew, including those below, are estimates.)
Albuquerque, NM: 40,000 undocumented; 4.3 percent of the city’s total population
Buffalo, NY: 5,000; 0.3
Columbia, SC: 15,000; 1.8
Gainesville, GA: 20,000; 10.1
Lansing and East Lansing, MI: 5,000; 0.7
Oklahoma City, OK: 50,000; 3.6
Pittsburgh, PA: 15,000; 0.7
Provo-Orem, UT: 20,000; 3.3
Reno, NV: 25,000; 6.0
Worcester, MA: 15,000; 1.5
Pew’s story that accompanied its data set can be accessed here.