Illegal Immigrant Population in U.S. Static in 2010, Study Says

The illegal immigrant population in the U.S. in 2010 was little changed from the previous year, according to estimates from a nonpartisan research organization.

Unauthorized immigrants last year numbered 11.2 million, or 3.7 percent of the nation’s population, compared with 11.1 million in 2009, the Pew Hispanic Center said today in Washington. They accounted for 5.2 percent of the U.S. workforce, with 8 million wage earners, down from the peak of 8.4 million in 2007.

“Immigration flows have tended to decrease in previous periods of economic distress,” authors Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn wrote in the report. “The decline in the size of the unauthorized immigrant population from its peak in 2007 appears to be driven mainly by a decrease in the number of such immigrants from Mexico.”

People from Mexico comprise 58 percent of the total illegal immigrant population, according to the report, which uses figures derived from March 2010 U.S. Census Bureau sample surveys that measure portions of foreign-born residents. There were 3.5 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. in 1990, the report said.

The illegal immigrant population last year decreased in Florida, New York, Virginia, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, while increasing in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, according to the study.

To contact the reporter on this story: Timothy R. Homan in Washington at thoman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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