United States

United States is in 14th place in the OECD in terms of the share of immigrants in its population, with the foreign-born accounting for 13% of the total population. 14% of them arrived in the last 5 years compared with 22% on average across OECD countries. The foreign-born population is on average more educated than across OECD countries, with 34% of highly educated compared with 31% across OECD countries. 14% come from an OECD high-income country and 20% from a country with the same official language.

67% of the foreign-born population are employed (77 and 57% of men and women, respectively), which is higher than the OECD average. The foreign-born population is more likely to be employed than their native-born counterparts. This discrepancy is partly driven by differences in age and educational distributions. After accounting for these differences, the gap between the two groups tends to get wider for men and to shrink for women.

The immigrant household median income in United States is in the top half of OECD countries but its level is 29% lower than the native-born one (compared with -21% across OECD countries). 31% of persons living in an immigrant household live with income below the poverty line, compared with an average of 17% across OECD countries.



Infomation on the figures by topic:

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Topic Definition
Housing Immigrants living in a suitably-sized dwelling, %, 2009
Income Annual equivalised disposable income, USD, 2008
Health Foreign-born adults reporting to be in good health, %, 2009
Education Mean reading score of native-born children of immigrants, points, PISA 2009
Employment Employment rate of the foreign-born population (15-64), %, 2009-10
Skill matching Highly educated immigrants (15-64) in highly skilled jobs, % of highly educated immigrant employed, 2009-10
Naturalisation Persons naturalised in 2010 as a % of the foreign population in 2009


Foreign-born population
38.5 millions
12.5 % of total population
Foreign-born population (15-64)
  United States OECD average
Recent immigrants
  14% 17%
Highly educated
  34% 31%
From an OECD high-income country
  14% 28%
From country with same official language
  20% 27%