(Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest) – The United States resettles the largest number of migrants in the world, and provides more funding and benefits than any other country in the world and any other region in the world. These are the facts: the U.S. contains about 4.5 percent of global population but hosts about 20 percent of the world’s global migrants. As a matter of comparison, Latin America contains nearly twice as much of the world’s population – more than 8.5 percent – but houses only about 3.35 percent of the world’s migrants. While the United States takes in one-fifth of global migrants, no other nation on earth has taken in more than one-twentieth.
About 1 in 40 of all migrants living in the U.S. today are from the Middle East or North Africa; however, that population has been rapidly growing. More than 1 in 10 of the annual permanent migrants resettled in the U.S. is a Muslim migrant. By contrast, only about 1 in 300 of all migrants living in Mexico today are from the Middle East or North Africa. (About 1 in 7 migrants in Mexico hail from other Latin American countries, and about 7 in 10 migrants in Mexico are from Canada or the United States). To provide further perspective: in 2010 there were 3,166 migrants from the Middle East living in Mexico; between 2001 and today, the United States has issued green cards to approximately 900,000 migrants from the Middle East and 1.5 million to migrants from Muslim countries. Because it’s only a ten-year figure for the U.S., that means the U.S. has permanently resettled well more than 300 times as many Middle Eastern migrants as Mexico, for example.
In terms of long-term migration trends, the Pew Research Center observes that the United States will continue to greatly exceed Latin America in terms of Middle Eastern migration:
“Most of the projected growth in the region’s Muslim population will take place in North America, particularly in the U.S. and Canada. If current trends continue, the Muslim population in the United States is projected to more than double in the next 20 years, from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030…Of all the countries in the Americas, Canada and the U.S. are expected to have by far the largest percentage increases in the size of their Muslim populations, 183.1% and 139.5%, respectively…By 2030, the U.S. is projected to have a larger number of Muslims than any European country other than Russia (which is expected to have 19 million Muslims by 2030) and France (which is expected to have 6.9 million Muslims in 2030). By comparison, the United Kingdom and Germany are each projected to have nearly 5.6 million Muslims in 2030.”
Pew also observes that: “If current trends continue, about 130,000 Muslims are expected to be granted permanent residency in the United States annually by 2030.” It is important to note this not an estimate of the much large figure of total annual migration (i.e. foreign students, guest workers, asylum-seekers, etc.) but permanent resettlement.
[Note: For the purposes of this analysis, island nations with extremely small populations were excluded, as they do not affect the totals in any statistically significant way.]
UNITED STATES: Total Population: 320,050,090 / Migrant Population: 48,785,090
LATIN AMERICA: Total Population: 603,855,084 / Migrant Population: 7,754,084
- Mexico: 1,103,460 Migrants
- Central America: 653,796 migrants
Belize (.5 million migrants); Costa Rica (.4 million migrants); El Salvador (.04 million migrants); Guatemala (.07 million migrants); Honduras (.02 million migrants); Nicaragua (.04 million migrants); Panama (.15 million migrants)
- South America: 4,771,743 migrants
Argentina (1.8 million migrants); Bolivia (.15 million migrants); Brazil (.6 million migrants); Chile (.4 million migrants); Columbia (.12 million migrants); Ecuador (.4 million migrants); Paraguay (.1 million migrants); Peru (.1 million migrants); Uruguay (.07 million migrants); Venezuela (1.2 million migrants)
- The Caribbean: 613,432 migrants
Cuba (.02 million migrants); Dominican Republic (.4 million migrants); Haiti (.04 million migrants); Puerto Rico (.3 million immigrants)