Fact Sheet: Central American Immigrants in the U.S.

By CIS, Special for USDR

To aid in the current debate on the surge of Central American illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. southern border and being settled by the government throughout the country, the Center for Immigration Studies has published a fact sheet on Central American immigrants. Based on Census Bureau data, it lists basic socio-demographic statistics on individuals, both legal and illegal, from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, the three primary sending countries.

View the full publication at: http://www.cis.org/central-american-immigrants-us

  • Population totals: In 2012 there were 2.7 million immigrants from El Salvador (1.3 million), Guatemala (880,000), and Honduras (536,000) in the United States.  Combined the immigrant population from these three countries has grown 234% since 1990.

  • The Top 10 states of settlement: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Georgia.
    • Illegal Immigrants: Department of Homeland Security estimates indicate that about 60% of immigrants from these three countries (1.6 million) are in the United States illegally.

    • Language:  Of immigrants from El Salvador, 70% report they speak English less than very well, of immigrants from Guatemala it is 72%, and 69% of immigrants from Honduras.

    • Homeownership: Of households headed by Salvadoran immigrants, 41% are owner occupied, as are 28% of Guatemalan households, and 29% of Honduran immigrant households. The corresponding figure for natives is 66%.

    • Educational Attainment: 54% of Guatemalan immigrants (ages 25 to 65) have not graduated high school. For those from El Salvador it is 53%, and 44% for those from Honduras.  The corresponding figure for native-born Americans is 7%.

    • Welfare use: 57% of households headed by immigrants from El Salvador use at least one major welfare program, as do 54% of Honduran households, and 49% of Guatemalan immigrant households.  Among native households it is 24%.

    • In or near Poverty: 65% of Honduran immigrants and their young children (under 18) live in or near poverty (under 200% of the poverty threshold).  For Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants and their children, it is 61%.  The corresponding figure for natives and their children is 31%.

    • Health Insurance:  47% of Guatemalan immigrants and their young children (under 18) do not have health insurance; for both Salvadoran and Honduran immigrants and their young children it is 41%.  The corresponding figure for natives and their children is 13%.

    • Share Working: 77% of immigrants from El Salvador (ages 25 to 54) have a job, as do 74% of Guatemalan immigrants and 73% of Honduran immigrants.  The corresponding figure for natives is 76%.

    The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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