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.

Featured Research from The ILC Immigration Research Library

JMHS logo - Journal on Migration and Human Security

US Foreign-Born Workers in the Global Pandemic: Essential and Marginalized

This report provides detailed estimates of foreign-born (immigrant) workers in the United States who are employed in “essential critical infrastructure” sectors, as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (DHS 2020). Building on earlier work by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), the article offers exhaustive estimates on essential workers on a national level, by state, for large metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and for smaller communities that heavily rely on immigrant labor. It also reports on these workers by job sector; immigration status; eligibility for tax rebates under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); and other characteristics.

Navigating the Future of Work: The Role of Immigrant-Origin Workers in the Changing U.S. Economy

Immigrant-origin workers—that is, immigrants and their U.S.-born children—have been the main drivers of U.S. workforce growth in recent years. They were responsible for 83 percent of labor force growth between 2010 and 2018, at which point they made up 28 percent of all U.S. workers. Looking ahead, all growth in the working-age population is projected to come from immigrant-origin adults through 2035. Yet research on the future of work in the United States has largely overlooked this important segment of the workforce. This report examines the jobs held by immigrant-origin workers and third/higher-generation workers (those born in the United States to U.S.-born parents), and which of these jobs are likely to grow versus decline due to automation, offshoring, and other trends. It also considers the implications of the changing mix of jobs in the U.S. economy for both workforce development and immigration policy.

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: Leading Through Creativity and Innovation: The 2020 Nobel Laureates, MacArthur and Schmidt Science Fellows, and Immigrant Scientists in Search of a COVID-19 Vaccine

In 2020, none of the Nobel Prize winners from the United States are foreign-born individuals. However, four of this year’s 12 Laureates are foreign born and have been associated with U.S. research institutions or universities at some point in their careers. In addition, four of the 21 MacArthur Fellows and at least four of the 22 Schmidt Science Fellows are foreign born and living in the United States. Moreover, immigrants are among the scientists and researchers working to find a COVID-19 vaccine. This report profiles all of these high-achieving immigrants.

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)

Spread the word