Central American Immigrants in the United States (2022)

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Over the decades, several million Central America migrants have sought opportunity, refuge, and stability in the United States, driven by a mix of factors including battered economies, violence, corrupt governments, and the desire to reunite with relatives who emigrated earlier or to find a family-sustaining job. While media attention in recent years has focused on the arrival of unaccompanied minors and families, primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the lion’s share of the 3.8 million Central American immigrants in the United States as of 2019 have been in the country for at least a decade.

Displacement and economic instability caused by regional civil wars, in which the U.S. government had involvement, led many Central Americans to migrate in the 1980s. The wars ended, but economic instability remained—as did migration. The Central American immigrant population in the United States more than tripled between 1980 and 1990.

Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and two earthquakes in 2001 were among the factors further driving migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Similar factors have remained at work in recent years. In November 2020, Hurricanes Eta and Iota devasted the region, affecting as many as 11 million people throughout Central America. Drought also has plagued parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in what is known as the “Dry Corridor.” Further, government corruption, gang activity, and high homicide rates continue to affect parts of the region, driving emigration.

The total Central American-born population in the United States has grown more than tenfold since 1980, and by 24 percent since 2010. The 3.8 million Central American immigrants present in 2019 accounted for 8 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population of 44.9 million (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Central American Immigrant Population in the United States, 1980-2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (1)

Sources:Data from U.S. Census Bureau 2010 and 2019 American Community Surveys (ACS), and Campbell J. Gibson and Kay Jung, "Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-2000" (Working Paper no. 81, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, February 2006),available online.

Immigration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has contributed the most to the growth of Central American immigrant population since 1980. Roughly 86 percent of Central Americans in the United States in 2019 were born in these three countries (see Table 1).

Table 1. Country of Origin for Central American Immigrants in the United States, 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (2)

Source: MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 ACS.

About one-third of Central American immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens, and the majority of those who received lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (also known as getting a green card) in 2019 did so through family reunification channels. Central American immigrants generally have lower educational outcomes than the overall immigrant population or the U.S. born, and two-thirds report having limited English proficiency. However, they have higher labor force participation than either the overall foreign-born or U.S.-born populations.

The United States is the leading destination for Central American migrants overall, according to the United Nations Population Division’s 2020 estimates, and the top destination for migrants from all Central American countries except Nicaraguans, whose top destination was Costa Rica. Roughly 15 percent (741,000) of all Central American migrants settled in other Latin American countries, with Mexico being a common destination. Outside Latin America, Spain and Canada have large presences of migrants from Central America (3 percent and 2 percent, respectively).

Click here to view an interactive map showing where migrants from Central America and elsewhere have settled worldwide.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau (the most recent 2019 American Community Survey [ACS] as well as pooled 2015-19 ACS data), the Department of Homeland Security’sYearbook of Immigration Statistics, and the World Bank, this Spotlight provides information on the Central American immigrant population in the United States, focusing on its size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

Click on the bullet points below for more information:

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  • Distribution by State and Key Cities
  • English Proficiency
  • Age, Education, and Employment
  • Income and Poverty
  • Immigration Pathways and Naturalization
  • Unauthorized Immigrant Population
  • Health Coverage
  • Diaspora
  • Remittances

Distribution by State and Key Cities

Most Central American immigrants live in states along the coasts and the southern border, with more than half of the population in California (25 percent), Texas (13 percent), Florida (11 percent), and New York (8 percent). The top five counties for Central Americans were Los Angeles County in California, Harris County in Texas, Miami-Dade County in Florida, Dallas County in Texas, and Prince George’s County in Maryland. Together these five counties were home to 30 percent of Central American immigrants in the United States.

Figure 2. Top Destination States for Central American Immigrants in the United States, 2015-19

Central American Immigrants in the United States (3)

Notes:Pooled 2015-19 ACS data were used to get statistically valid estimates at the state level for smaller-population geographies. Not shown are the populations in Alaska and Hawaii, which are small in size; for details, visit the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Data Hub for an interactive map showing geographic distribution of immigrants by state and county,available online.
Source:MPI tabulation of data from U.S. Census Bureau pooled 2015-19 ACS.

Click herefor an interactive map that highlights the states and counties with the highest concentrations of immigrants from Central America and other countries.

The Central American immigrant population has a large spread, but the highest metro concentrations are in the greater Los Angeles (16 percent), New York (11 percent), Washington, DC (9 percent), Miami, and Houston (each 7 percent) metropolitan areas.

Figure 3. Top Metropolitan Destinations for Central American Immigrants in the United States, 2015-19

Central American Immigrants in the United States (4)

Note:Pooled 2015-19 ACS data were used to get statistically valid estimates at the metropolitan statistical-area level for smaller-population geographies.
Source:MPI tabulation of data from U.S. Census Bureau pooled 2015-19 ACS.

Click herefor an interactive map that highlights the metro areas with the highest concentrations of immigrants from Central America and other countries.

Table 2. Top Concentrations of Central American Immigrants by U.S. Metropolitan Area, 2015-19

Central American Immigrants in the United States (5)

Source:MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau pooled 2015-19 ACS.

English Proficiency

Nearly all Central American immigrants speak a language other than English. A greater share of the population has limited English proficiency (66 percent) compared to all foreign born (46 percent). Guatemalans (70 percent), Hondurans (70 percent), and Salvadorans (69 percent) were more likely to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) than other Central Americans.

Just 7 percent of Central American immigrants reported speaking only English at home compared to 16 percent of the total foreign-born population. Panamanians stood out: 20 percent reported speaking only English at home.

Note: LEP refers to those who indicated on the ACS questionnaire that they spoke English less than “very well.”

Age, Education, and Employment

(Video) How smugglers seduce Central American migrants with the 'American Dream'

Of immigrants from Central America, 81 percent were of working age (the 18-64 age range), higher than the share of all immigrants (78 percent) or U.S. natives (59 percent). Fewer Central American immigrants were minors (9 percent) or aged 65 and older (9 percent) than the U.S. born. The median age for Central Americans was 40 years old, between that of all immigrants (46 years) and natives (37 years). The median ages for immigrants from Guatemala and Honduras were 37 and 36, respectively, while the region’s highest was among the foreign born from Panama, at 55.

Figure 4. Age Distribution of the U.S. Population by Origin, 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (6)

Note:Percentages may not add up to 100 as they are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Source:MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 ACS.

Roughly 47 percent of Central Americans ages 25 and older had less than a high school diploma, versus 26 percent of the total foreign born and 8 percent of U.S.-born adults. More than half of Guatemalan immigrants (56 percent) lacked a high school education, the lowest educational attainment for Central American immigrants, followed by 50 percent of Salvadoran adults. About 11 percent of immigrants from Central America had a bachelor’s degree or higher, below the rates of the total immigrant and total U.S.-born adult populations (33 percent each). Panamanians were the most educated among immigrants from the region, with 31 percent being college graduates.

At 72 percent, Central American immigrants have higher labor force participation than both the total foreign-born (67 percent) and U.S.-born (62 percent) populations. For immigrants from the region, Salvadorans and Guatemalans had the highest labor force participation rates, at 74 percent each.

Most Central American immigrants were in service (31 percent); natural resources, construction, and maintenance (25 percent); or production, transportation, and material moving (19 percent) occupations. In contrast, the top occupational group for all immigrant workers was management, business, science, and arts (35 percent), followed by service occupations (23 percent).

Figure 5. Employed Workers in the Civilian Labor Force (ages 16 and older) by Occupation and Origin, 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (7)

Note:Percentages may not add up to 100 as they are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Source: MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 ACS.

About one-third of Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran workers worked in service occupations. Panamanian and Costa Rican immigrants more closely resembled the U.S. born, with 41 percent and 38 percent respectively employed in management, business, science, and arts occupations.

Income and Poverty

The median household income for Central Americans in 2019 was $51,000, lower than that of all immigrants ($64,000) and the U.S. born ($66,000). Costa Ricans ($61,000) and Nicaraguans ($58,000) earned the highest median incomes of all Central American immigrants, followed by Panamanians ($57,000), Salvadorans ($56,000), Guatemalans ($47,000), and Hondurans ($46,000).

In 2019, 19 percent of Central American individuals lived in poverty, versus 14 percent of all immigrants and 12 percent of natives. Poverty rates were the highest among Hondurans (25 percent) and Guatemalans (23 percent).

Immigration Pathways and Naturalization

About 34 percent of Central Americans were naturalized U.S. citizens as of 2019, compared to 52 percent of all immigrants. Panamanians (72 percent), Nicaraguans (61 percent), and Costa Ricans (59 percent) were more likely to be naturalized citizens, while Hondurans (23 percent), Guatemalans (28 percent), and Salvadorans (34 percent) were less likely.

Central American immigrants tend to have slightly fewer years of residence in the United States than the overall immigrant population. Forty-four percent of Central Americans entered the United States before 2000, compared to 51 percent of all immigrants. Twenty-eight percent of Central Americans entered between 2000 and 2009, and 29 percent entered the United States in 2010 or later. Most Panamanians (72 percent), Nicaraguans (66 percent), and Costa Ricans (56 percent) arrived before 2000, whereas about two-thirds of Hondurans (69 percent) and Guatemalans (64 percent) arrived in 2000 or later.

Figure 6. Central Americans and All Immigrantsin the United States by Period of Arrival, 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (8)

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Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number and may not add to 100.
Source: MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 ACS.

The highest proportion of the 65,000 immigrants from Central America who became lawful permanent residents in fiscal year (FY) 2019 did so through family reunification channels (76 percent), followed by those who were refugees and asylees (10 percent). Costa Ricans and Hondurans (10 percent each) were more likely than other Central Americans to become LPRs through employment sponsorship, while Guatemalans (15 percent) were most likely to obtain green cards after gaining asylum or being resettled as a refugee.

Figure 7. Immigration Pathways of Central Americans and All Lawful Permanent Residents in the United States, FY 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (9)

Notes: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens include spouses, minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens.Family-sponsored preferences include adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses and children of green-card holders. The Diversity Visa lottery refers to the program established by the Immigration Act of 1990 to allow immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to enter the United States; the law states that 55,000 diversity visas in total are made available each fiscal year. Individuals born in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were ineligible for the DV-2022 lottery."

Source:MPI tabulation of data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),2019 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics(Washington, DC: DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, 2020),available online.

Unauthorized Immigrant Population

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that approximately 1.9 million unauthorized immigrants from Central America resided in the United States as of 2018, accounting for approximately 17 percent of the total 11 million unauthorized immigrant population. The top origin countries for unauthorized immigrants from Central America were El Salvador (750,000), Guatemala (588,000), and Honduras (402,000). Click here for an interactive map of the 2018 unauthorized immigrant population in the United States.

Many migrants from these countries have remained in the United States with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which grants work authorization and relief from deportation (Guatemala is no longer on the designation list). El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are among the 12 countries with TPS designations. As of March 2021, TPS protections covered 198,400 Salvadorans, 60,400 Hondurans, and 3,200 Nicaraguans. Nationals of these three countries made up 82 percent of the 319,500 individuals protected by TPS.

In addition to comprising the largest share of TPS recipients, Central Americans account for the largest share of Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) recipients, after Mexicans. As of March 2021, an estimated 58,000 Central American youths and young adults had DACA status, representing 9 percent of the 616,000 active DACA recipients. Among these were 24,000 Salvadorans, 16,000 Guatemalans, and 15,000 Hondurans.

Click hereto view the top origin countries of DACA recipients and their U.S. states of residence.

Significant numbers of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras also have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border without prior authorization to enter. These minors accounted for 75 percent of all stops of unaccompanied youth by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from October 2020 to June 2021. Many unaccompanied children, families, and single adults arriving at the border have requested asylum. Overall, citizens from these three countries accounted for 40 percent of the more than 1.1 million encounters of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in this period.

Health Coverage

Central American immigrants are less likely to have health insurance, with 41 percent lacking coverage compared to 20 percent of all immigrants and 8 percent of natives. The least insured populations were Hondurans (53 percent) and Guatemalans (48 percent).

Approximately 39 percent of Central Americans had private health insurance coverage, versus 58 percent of all foreign born and 69 percent of natives. Almost one-quarter had public coverage, compared to 30 percent of all immigrants and 36 percent of the U.S. born.

Figure 8. Health Coverage for Central American Immigrants, All Immigrants, and the Native Born, 2019

Central American Immigrants in the United States (10)

Note:The sum of shares by type of insurance is likely to be greater than 100 because people may have more than one type of insurance.
Source:MPI tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 ACS.

Diaspora

The Central American diaspora is comprised of approximately 7 million U.S. residents who were either born in Central America or reported Central American ancestry or origin. Salvadorans make up 2.8 million of this group, followed by 2 million Guatemalans, and 1.3 million people with Honduran ancestry or origin.

(Video) What's Causing the Central American Migration Crisis? | History

Click here to see estimates of the top 20 diasporas groups in the United States in 2019.

Remittances

Global remittances to Central America have grown over sevenfold since 2000, reaching more than $25.8 billion as of 2020, according to World Bank estimates. Remittances represented a different share of each individual country’s GDP, ranging from only under 1 percent for Costa Rica to 24 percent for both El Salvador and Honduras.

Figure 9. Annual Remittance Flows to Central America, 1990–2020

Central American Immigrants in the United States (11)

Source:World Bank Prospects Group, “Annual Remittances Data,” May 2021 update,available online.

Track remittances by inflow and outflow, between countries, and over time with the interactive remittances tools on MPI’s Data Hub.

Sources

Congressional Research Service (CRS). 2021. Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure. Washington, DC: CRS. Available online.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). N.d. Drought in the Dry Corridor of Central America. Accessed April 23, 2021. Available online.

Gibson, Campbell J. and Kay Jung. 2006. Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-2000. Working Paper no. 81, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, February 2006.Available online.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2019. Costa Rican Schools Open Their Doors to Displaced Nicaraguan Children. UNHCR, July 5, 2019. Available online.

---. 2019. One Year into Nicaragua Crisis, More Than 60,000 Force to Flee Their Country. Press release, April 16, 2019. Available online.

United Nations Population Division. 2020. International Migrant Stock 2020: Destination and Origin.Available online.

U.S. Census Bureau. N.d. 2019 American Community Survey. Accessed July 5, 2021.Available online.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 2021. Count of Active DACA Recipients by Country of Birth as of March 31, 2021.Available online.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 2021. Nationwide Enforcement Encounters: Title 8 Enforcement Actions and Title 42 Expulsions. Updated July 16, 2021. Available online.

---. 2021. Southwest Land Border Encounters. Updated July 16, 2021. Available online.

---. 2021. U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector. Updated March 2021. Available online.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Immigration Statistics. 2020.2019 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Washington, DC: DHS Office of Immigration Statistics.Available online.

World Bank Prospects Group. 2021. Annual Remittances Data, May 2021 update.Available online.

(Video) VOA Unpacked: Root Causes of Central Americans’ Migration to US

FAQs

Why do Central Americans migrate to the United States? ›

The most common reasons among Central American migrants are food insecurity, political insecurity, violence, lack of economic opportunity, or some combination of these.

Where do most Central American immigrants come from? ›

Immigration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has contributed the most to the growth of Central American immigrant population since 1980.

How many immigrants came from Central America? ›

The report comes as migration from Central America has increased substantially over the past three decades, by 137% between 1990 and 2020. An estimated 16.2 million from the region resided in a country other than their country of origin in 2020, according to data from the United Nations.

How many Central Americans are in the US? ›

CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS ARE IMPORTANT TO U.S. SOCIETY

Of the roughly 3.5 million Central Americans in the United States, 40% are Salvadoran, 27% are Guatemalan, and 19% are Honduran.

What are Central American refugees running from? ›

Worldwide, there are now around 597,000 refugees and asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They are escaping gang violence, threats, extortion, recruitment into gangs or prostitution, as well as gender-based violence (GBV).

Why do so many people immigrate from Mexico? ›

The main reason why Mexicans emigrate to the United States is to improve their economic situation. Other motives exist, such as kinship relations in the destination city, but if the disparities in income opportunities were lower between the two countries, this would override kinship relations.

How many Latin American immigrants are in the US? ›

A quarter of the U.S. immigrant population, or 11.4 million, is from Mexico alone, far more than any other country.

Why do people from El Salvador immigrate to the us? ›

Salvadoran migration to the U.S. dates back to the 1930s and has been driven by a combination of economic and humanitarian factors. It was boosted by the twelve- year long civil war (1979-1982) and fueled by perpetual violence ever since.

Why do immigrants come from Guatemala? ›

The current driving forces leading to migration are crime, poverty and political corruption. Crime is a big issue for those living in Guatemala; statistically 84% to 87% of violence is attributed to gang violence and drug trafficking. Firearms are very easy to obtain in that country of Guatemala.

Which Central American country has the most refugees? ›

As of June 2021, Mexico was home to 172,586 refugees and asylum seekers, which exceeded the total number of refugees in all of the listed countries from Central America. By contrast, El Salvador, the most dangerous country in the world, had merely 99 refugees and asylum seekers.

How many immigrants came to the U.S. in 2021? ›

After President Biden took office, the number of asylum seekers and migrants apprehended after crossing the border between ports of entry began rising rapidly, increasing from 75,316 in January 2021 to a high of 200,658 in July 2021.

Where are all the immigrants coming from? ›

The United States was home to 22.0 million women, 20.4 million men, and 2.5 million children who were immigrants. The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (24 percent of immigrants), India (6 percent), China (5 percent), the Philippines (4.5 percent), and El Salvador (3 percent).

What is the largest group of Central Americans in the US? ›

Guatemalans are the sixth largest Hispanic group in the United States and the second largest Central American population after Salvadorans. Half of the Guatemalan population is situated in two parts of the country, the Northeast and Southern California.

Which states have the most immigrants? ›

Which U.S. states have the largest numbers of immigrants? The U.S. states with the most immigrants in 2019 were California (10.6 million), Texas (5 million), Florida (4.5 million), New York (4.4 million), and New Jersey (2.1 million).

Where do most immigrants move to? ›

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Foreign-Born Residents (Immigrants) - United Nations 2020:
  • United States — 50.6 million.
  • Germany — 15.8 million.
  • Saudi Arabia — 13.5 million.
  • Russia — 11.6 million.
  • United Kingdom — 9.4 million.
  • United Arab Emirates — 8.7 million.
  • France — 8.5 million.
  • Canada — 8.0 million.

What country lets in the most refugees? ›

Türkiye

What are some of the challenges facing Central American asylum seekers? ›

Gang violence, threats, extortion, persecution and sexual violence have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life. Approximately 550,000 people have sought refuge in neighboring countries and more than 315,000 have been internally displaced inside the region.

Why do children migrate from Central America? ›

Fleeing extreme gang violence and intimidation and crushing poverty, many Central American families and children are making the difficult decision to leave the homes they love in search of safety and a better life. Most come from the countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Why are so many Mexicans coming into the US? ›

After declining for more than a decade, the number of Mexicans seeking to migrate to the United States is surging. Since 2020, a combination of growing violence across Mexico and a worsening economy has led to the first jump in Mexican migration in a decade.

Where do most Mexican live in USA? ›

The United States is home to the second-largest Mexican community in the world (24% of the entire Mexican-origin population of the world), second only to Mexico itself. Most Mexican Americans reside in the Southwest (over 60% in the states of California and Texas).

Which US states once belonged to Mexico? ›

Under the terms of the treaty negotiated by Trist, Mexico ceded to the United States Upper California and New Mexico. This was known as the Mexican Cession and included present-day Arizona and New Mexico and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado (see Article V of the treaty).

What percentage of U.S. immigrants are from Latin America? ›

Share this chart:
YearEurope/Canada and other North AmericaOther Latin America
200019%22%
201014%24%
201513%24%
201813%25%
4 more rows
20 Aug 2020

Are Mexicans Latinos or Hispanics? ›

OMB defines "Hispanic or Latino" as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

How many immigrants are in the U.S. 2022? ›

The 46.6 million immigrants (legal and illegal) in the country in January 2022 is the largest number recorded in any government survey or decennial census going back to 1850.

Who are the 14 families of El Salvador? ›

The Fourteen Families "las catorce familias" is a reference to the oligarchy which controlled most of the land and wealth in El Salvador during the 19th and 20th centuries with names including de Sola, Llach, Hill, Meza-Ayau, Duenas, Dalton, Flores, Regalado, Quinonez, and Salaverria.

How much does El Salvador owe the US? ›

El Salvador: National debt from 2017 to 2027 (in billion U.S. dollars)
CharacteristicNational debt in billion U.S. dollars
202021.97
201919.17
201818.31
201717.62
7 more rows

What state has most El Salvador? ›

Salvadoran immigrants are broadly dispersed throughout the United States, but they live in greatest numbers in the states of California, Texas, and New York. More El Salvador-born people reside in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities than any other metropolitan area.

What race is Guatemalan? ›

Guatemala is a multicultural society, though most Guatemalans have varying degrees of European (predominantly Spaniards) and Amerindian ancestry. Guatemalans are also colloquially nicknamed Chapines in other Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America.

Why do people want to leave El Salvador? ›

A stagnant economy, high levels of crime and violence, and natural disasters have pushed growing numbers of people to migrate without authorization or seek asylum abroad, mostly in the United States. This article explores historical and contemporary emigration from El Salvador.

Why do people emigrate from Costa Rica? ›

According to a survey by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (2008), 52% of Costa Rican migrants said they were motivated by employment opportunities or mentioned economic instability as a reason to migrate. Many Nicaraguans migrate to Costa Rica in search of better conditions.

Why are there so many refugees from Venezuela? ›

More than 6.1 million refugees and migrants have left Venezuela as a result of the political turmoil, socio-economic instability and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Where do most people in Central America live? ›

Mexico is the largest country in Central America, with the most people, home to over 128 million people. Guatemala comes in second, with almost 18 million in population. Honduras has a population of almost 10 million people.

Where are people in Latin America moving to? ›

In the last decades, extraregional destinations of South American migration have expanded, mainly to Europe, where Spain is the main destination, following Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, France and the United Kingdom, reaching a volume of 4.1 million South Americans around 2020 (UNDESA, 2020).

What are the 4 types of immigrants? ›

In U.S. immigration, there are four main categories of immigration status, including U.S. citizens, permanent or conditional residents, non-immigrants, and undocumented immigrants.

How many immigrants enter the U.S. per day? ›

Nearly 70,000 foreigners arrive in the United States every day.

How many immigrants does the U.S. allow per year? ›

The INA allows the United States to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas each year across various visa categories. On top of those 675,000 visas, the INA sets no limit on the annual admission of U.S. citizens' spouses, parents, and children under the age of 21.

Which country has most immigrants? ›

According to the United Nations, in 2019, the United States, Germany, and Saudi Arabia had the largest number of immigrants of any country, while Tuvalu, Saint Helena, and Tokelau had the lowest.

How many illegals live in Texas? ›

Profile of the Unauthorized Population: Texas
DemographicsEstimate% of Total
Population ages 15 and older1,644,000100%
Reside with at least one U.S.-citizen child under 18587,00036%
Reside with noncitizen children only under 18141,0009%
Reside with no children917,00056%
97 more rows

Are immigrants and migrants the same thing? ›

The word “migrant” is being used in place of “immigrant.” A migrant is a person who moves from one place to another within a country. My parents were migrants who came to California from Oklahoma and Texas in the early 1940s. An immigrant is a person who moves from one country from another.

Why are Central Americans immigrating? ›

People, including more families and unaccompanied children, are on the move to find opportunities to thrive outside their home countries. Poverty, violence, lack of economic opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and food insecurity are among the top reasons migrants cite for leaving Central America.

What race are Central Americans? ›

Several of the countries have a predominance of mixed Amerindian–European, or mestizo, population, while a minority are more inhabited by those of greater European or Black African ancestry. Asian and mixed race Afro-Amerindian minorities are also identified regularly.

What are Central Americans called? ›

Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
...
Central America.
Area523,780 km2 (202,230 sq mi)
DemonymCentral American
CountriesBelize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama
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Which US state is the most immigrant friendly? ›

What Are the Most Immigrant Friendly States in the USA?
  • 8 — Washington.
  • 7 — District of Columbia.
  • 6 — Georgia.
  • 5 — Maryland.
  • 4 — New Jersey.
  • 3 — New York.
  • 2 — Illinois.
  • 1 — California.

What city in the US has the most immigrants? ›

Hialeah, Florida

Hialeah, Florida has the highest immigrant population in the US. The foreign-born population of the city comprises about 74.4% of the total city population. Hialeah is the 6th largest city in Florida, though it is often considered to be part of the Miami metropolitan area.

Where do most of the immigrants in the United States come from? ›

Origins of the U.S. immigrant population, 1960–2016
19602018
Europe-Canada84%13%
South and East Asia4%28%
Other Latin America4%25%
Mexico6%25%

Which country is most welcoming to immigrants? ›

Canada has been ranked #1 in quality of life by the United Nations and is known to be the most immigration-friendly country. Canada welcomes immigrants from across the world. The right place for those individuals considering immigrating to an English-speaking country with comfort, safety, and a high standard of living.

What is the easiest country to immigrate to? ›

Easiest Countries to Immigrate To
  • New Zealand.
  • Australia.
  • Spain.
  • Paraguay.
  • Germany.
  • Montenegro.
  • Czechia.
  • Thailand.

Which country is best for immigrants? ›

  • Canada. For those who want to immigrate to an English-speaking country, and prize comfort and safety above all else, then Canada might be the right place. ...
  • Germany. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • Singapore. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • Denmark. ...
  • Paraguay.
22 Sept 2021

Why are Central American countries poor? ›

Of the main causes of poverty in Central America, unequal distribution of wealth is by far the most consistent. The region has seen periods of boom and bust since the end of World War II, yet the vast difference in wealth distribution remained unchanged for decades.

Why do immigrants come from El Salvador? ›

Salvadoran migration to the U.S. dates back to the 1930s and has been driven by a combination of economic and humanitarian factors. It was boosted by the twelve- year long civil war (1979-1982) and fueled by perpetual violence ever since.

What are the root causes of migration? ›

A root cause is the fundamental reason for the occurrence of an event. Migrants arriving at the US/MX border are often fleeing crippling poverty, environmental destruction, extreme violence, political instability, and other serious threats to life.

What are the causes of immigrants leave their home countries? ›

Some migrants leave their country because they want to work, study or join family, for example. Others feel they must leave because of poverty, political unrest, gang violence, natural disasters or other serious circumstances that exist there.

What is the richest Central American country? ›

Politically, Costa Rica is the most stable country in Central America. El Salvador: According to the World Bank, El Salvador is the fourth-largest economy in the region, and has a GDP PPP of $50,903 million.
...
Currency by country.
CountriesOfficial Currency
PanamaBalboa / US dollar
6 more rows

What is the safest Central American country? ›

1. Costa Rica. Costa Rica is generally regarded as the safest Central America countires. To top it off, Costa Rica is an absolutely stunning country with friendly people, unforgettable cloud forests, and beautiful beaches.

What is the poorest Central American country? ›

Honduras

More than 50% (and possibly as much as 66%) of Honduras's roughly 10 million people live in poverty.

Who are the 14 families of El Salvador? ›

The Fourteen Families "las catorce familias" is a reference to the oligarchy which controlled most of the land and wealth in El Salvador during the 19th and 20th centuries with names including de Sola, Llach, Hill, Meza-Ayau, Duenas, Dalton, Flores, Regalado, Quinonez, and Salaverria.

Where do most Salvadorans live in the United States? ›

Salvadoran immigrants are broadly dispersed throughout the United States, but they live in greatest numbers in the states of California, Texas, and New York. More El Salvador-born people reside in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities than any other metropolitan area.

Why do immigrants come from Guatemala? ›

The current driving forces leading to migration are crime, poverty and political corruption. Crime is a big issue for those living in Guatemala; statistically 84% to 87% of violence is attributed to gang violence and drug trafficking. Firearms are very easy to obtain in that country of Guatemala.

What are the 10 reasons for migration? ›

They include:
  • higher employment.
  • more wealth.
  • better services.
  • good climate.
  • safer, less crime.
  • political stability.
  • more fertile land.
  • lower risk from natural hazards.

What are the positive effects of migration? ›

The expansion of the labour force, the increase of cultural variety, the filling of skill gaps in the labour market, and the boost to the local economy are the major positive effects of migration on host countries. On the other side, migration has a positive impact on the countries of origin.

What are the solutions of migration? ›

Countries should promote stability, education and employment opportunities and reduce the drivers of forced migration, including by promoting resilience, thereby enabling individuals to make the choice between staying or migrating.

What country takes the most refugees? ›

Turkey is again the host of the most refugees worldwide by far, and the number keeps growing. The country hosted nearly 3.8 million refugees – almost all of whom are from Syria – in 2021, after that number was around 3.5 million in the middle of 2020.

Where do most immigrants move to? ›

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Foreign-Born Residents (Immigrants) - United Nations 2020:
  • United States — 50.6 million.
  • Germany — 15.8 million.
  • Saudi Arabia — 13.5 million.
  • Russia — 11.6 million.
  • United Kingdom — 9.4 million.
  • United Arab Emirates — 8.7 million.
  • France — 8.5 million.
  • Canada — 8.0 million.

What challenges do immigrants face? ›

5 Challenges Immigrants Face When They're New to the Country
  • Navigating life in a new language. Uprooting your life and moving to a new country is challenging by itself. ...
  • Building your credit. ...
  • Access to health care. ...
  • Employment opportunities. ...
  • The power of education.
5 Feb 2022

Videos

1. Caravan of Central American migrants heads toward US border | DW News
(DW News)
2. Kamala Harris tours Central America to curb migration | DW News
(DW News)
3. Latin America faces growing migration crisis
(Al Jazeera English)
4. How U.S. Involvement In Central America Led To a Border Crisis| AJ+
(AJ+)
5. Record surge in migrants attempting to cross US-Mexico border - BBC News
(BBC News)
6. Walking to America with the Migrant Caravan | VICE News Tonight Special Report (HBO)
(VICE News)

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