Newly sworn citizens
Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens Joseph Prezioso/Via Time/AFP/Getty Images

SEATTLE - New studies show that Texas and Florida remain as the preferred places for immigrants to settle down despite immigration crackdowns by Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott.

The number of foreign-born people in the United States rose by more than 5 million over 10 years. It now amounts to 45.3 million or 13.7% of the nation's population, according to estimates from the 2018-2022 5-year American Community Survey (ACS). Despite most of them coming from Latin American countries, not all of them have settled in the same places.

According to the most recent UN Population Division data from, the United States is home to more international migrants than any other country, and more than the next four countries combined (Germany, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United Kingdom).

A Washington Post analysis of more than 4.1 million U.S. immigration court records from the past decade revealed that new immigrant hubs have formed around jobs in meatpacking, agriculture and petroleum.

According to data from the ACS, immigrants made up over a fifth of the population in four states: California (26.5%), New Jersey (23.2%), New York (22.6%) and Florida (21.1%). California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas had the largest increases, with Florida and Texas each gaining more than 850,000 foreign-born people.

The growth has been uneven, as states with severe labor shortages such as West Virginia, Wyoming and North Dakota attracted hardly any new immigrants, while cities like New York, Chicago and Denver received thousands of new inhabitants.

Despite the common misconception of Mexicans being the largest number of immigrants crossing into the United States, Venezuelans became the top group for the first time under the Biden administration.

The number of immigrants from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Nigeria, Cuba, and the Philippines each increased by at least 200,000 from 2010 to 2022. Among the groups numbering at least 100,000 in 2022, the Venezuelan immigrant population increased the fastest, by 263 percent. They have settled in places such as Salt Lake City, Denver and Dallas.

Immigration court cases for other Latin American nations such as Colombians, Brazilians, Peruvians and Ecuadorians have seen an increase, with those groups concentrating in the Northeast, Florida and the Midwest.

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