Immigration Research and Information

For answers to the most common questions about U.S. immigration, see our Quick Statistics on U.S. immigration. For more context, search the  Immigration Research Library, which contains more than 1,300 studies from respected research institutions across the United States. One such respected institution is the Institute for Immigration Research, a joint venture between The Immigrant Learning Center and George Mason University. If you’re looking for some more specific data, you can request a free,  personalized fact sheet. If you want to stay updated on The Immigrant Learning Center’s research, webinars and other projects, sign up for our newsletter.

Upcoming Research

The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute is researching the role and impact of immigrant essential workers during the pandemic, with a focus on the health care and food sectors. Immigrants are highly represented in these two fields, which have been vital to getting all Americans through this crisis. The research project will explore the critical contributions of immigrant essential workers and their impact on Americans and local communities. You can learn more about the project here. You can also sign up for updates  here.

Featured Research from The ILC Immigration Research Library

Projections Show Increasing Future Immigration Grows the U.S. Competitive Advantage

The competition for first place in the global economy is heating up. According to researchers at George Mason University in a study commissioned by, immigration policy can be used as a tool to maintain the position of the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. Without the boost provided by immigration, the study projects that the U.S. economy will fall behind China’s by 2030 and will shrink to 75 percent of China’s economy by 2050. The authors argue that if the U.S. doubled its immigration levels now, GDP could reach $47 trillion by 2050, $10 trillion more than if current immigration trends are maintained and $18 trillion more than if immigration were stopped.  Using five different immigration scenarios to test their impact on the economy as a whole, the authors conclude that doubling current levels of immigration would lead to the best economic outcome. (Katelin Reger for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Economic Contributions and Growth of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest-growing minority in the United States. They have a huge contribution to the United States’s growth economically and socially. In 2019 alone, AAPI households earned more than $783.7 billion in income. This allowed them to pay more than $167.9 billion in federal income taxes and almost $72.5 billion in state and local taxes. After taxes, AAPI households still held a considerable amount of spending power, $543.4 billion. Learn more about their contribution in this new report from New American Economy.

Institute for Immigration Research

The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR), a joint venture between The Immigrant Learning Center and George Mason University, produces interdisciplinary research on immigrants and immigration to the United States. Projects include Immigrant Nobel Prize Winners, mapping immigrant populations, surveys of high-skilled immigrant professionals, Twitter analyses of the immigration discussion and more. The IIR also offers free customized datasheets through Immigration Data on Demand.

Latest Research: Immigrant Workers and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, workers in certain industries in the United States have been critical to keeping the country’s residents healthy and safe, and keeping the economy open. Many of these workers have endured difficult and dangerous conditions, working in close proximity to each other and to the public, and have been especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. Many of these workers, often dubbed “essential workers,” are foreign-born. In fact, immigrant workers have been important during the pandemic and will continue to play a key role in rebuilding the economy post-pandemic.

Immigration chart

Immigration Data on Demand

Immigration Data on Demand (iDod) provides information to academics, policy-makers and the public with unbiased and objective research related to immigrants and immigration in the United States. This service is provided free of charge to help individuals and institutions examine the immigrant populations of their particular geography.


Working Together book cover

October 2019

Working Together: How Community Colleges and Their Partners Help Immigrants Succeed

Published by Rowman & Littlefield and the American Association of Community Colleges

This book showcases exemplary initiatives of community colleges and their partners to integrate immigrant and refugee students, and the ways these students enrich campus life, strengthen communities and benefit the economy. The chapter Reflective Narrative: How Community Colleges can Reframe the Immigration Narrative was written by The ILC Public Education Institute Director Denzil Mohammed.

Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts book cover

January 2013

Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts

Published by George Mason University Press

Edited by The ILC founder and CEO Diane Portnoy, Barry Portnoy and Charlie Riggs, Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts chronicles the experience of 11 immigrant groups in the U.S. written by 11 experts in their respective fields.

Massachusetts Research

Massachusetts Immigrants by the Numbers, Second Edition

March 2012

Massachusetts Immigrants by the Numbers, Second Edition: Demographic Characteristics and Economic Footprint

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

First Edition Full Report, 2009 (PDF)

Immigrant Homebuyers cover

December 2005

Immigrant Homebuyers in Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts: Keys to the Revitalization of Cities

Full Report (PDF)

Entrepreneurship Research

Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Growing Industries cover

APRIL 2013

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Creating Jobs and Strengthening the U.S. Economy in Growing Industries: Transportation, Food and Building Services
with a Regional View of Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania and a Focus on the Green Economy

Fast Facts
Full Report  (PDF)

Immigrant Entrepreneurs cover

January 2012

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Creating Jobs and Strengthening the Economy

Full Report (PDF)

Adult Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs cover

November 2011

Adult Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Memories and Influences

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneur cover

November 2010

Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Engines for Economic Growth, Wealth and Job Creation

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

The Rise of Asian-Owned Businesses in Massachusetts cover

June 2007

The Rise of Asian-Owned Businesses in Massachusetts

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

December 2005

Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization: Studies of the Allston Village, East Boston and Fields Corner Neighborhoods in Boston

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

June 2007

Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

JUNE 2016

Immigrants in Health Care: Keeping Americans Healthy Through Care and Innovation

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

June 2010

Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Workers in Leisure and Hospitality Businesses: Massachusetts and New England

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

March 2009

Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry: A Report on Status and Future Prospects

Fast Facts

Full Report (PDF)

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