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US Immigration as Percent of Population
1820 - 2004

Immigration reform is a major political issue for the 2006 elections. This chart provides historical context on US immigration patterns. Data are from the US Census Bureau.

The chart shows the percent of US population, in any given decade, that can be attributed to legal immigration during the prior decade. For example, in the 1820s, total immigration was 143,439 ... the Census population for 1830 (the end of that decade) was 12,866,020 ... which results in a percednt of population of 1.11%.

The 2000s contain data only for 2001-2004 and use an estimated 2004 population of 290 million.

  • 2001 - 1,064,318
  • 2002 - 1,063,732
  • 2003 - 705,827
  • 2004 - 946,142

Use the scroll bars to view the entire chart or see this thumbnail. Also see Immigration by Decade.


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