America's Largest Foreign-Born Population Just Hit a New Record

PHOTO: Mexican immigrants work on a housing development on May 3, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The resurgent housing market has helped drive down unemployment for American workers but also for undocumented immigrants, many of whom work in construction.

John Moore/Getty Images

A record number of Latinos of Mexican origin now live in the United States. According to a recent Pew Hispanic Center analysis, there are 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin in the country, 11.4 million of whom are immigrants born in Mexico. The remaining two-thirds were born in the U.S.

Mexican immigrants make up more than a quarter of the nation's 40 million immigrants. The next largest foreign-born population, the Chinese, number just two million.

Latinos of Mexican origin make up nearly two-thirds of all U.S. Hispanics. While there were less than a million Mexican immigrants in the country in 1970, there were more than 12 million by 2007. Over the last six years, however, that number has declined as fewer Mexicans have arrived in the U.S.

See Also: INFOGRAPHIC: Latino Population Growth in the U.S. Since 1850

Between 1980 and 2000, the driving factor in the growth of the Mexican-origin population was immigration. After that, it was fueled by births within the U.S. Mexican immigrants in the U.S. today are older and better educated than they were in 1990, but median household income has dropped. The economic recession hit Mexican immigrants especially hard.

While about a third of Mexican immigrants are legal permanent residents and another 16 percent are naturalized citizens, about half are in the country without permission.

Mexican immigrants to the U.S. are significantly older than their U.S.-born counterparts -- 38 vs. 17-years-old. Mexican immigrants are also more likely to be married, far less likely to have a bachelor's degree than those born in the country, and slightly more likely to live in poverty.

There are big discrepancies when it comes to health insurance. While just one in five Mexican-origin Latinos born in the U.S. lacks insurance, more than half of those born in Mexico do.

There is no major difference when it comes to where Mexican-origin Hispanics who were born in Mexico and in the U.S. live. More than a third live in California and more than quarter live in Texas.

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