DHS Issues Report of the Permanent Resident Population for 2011

The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released its population estimate of the number of Legal Permanent Residents, or LPRs, in the United States as of January 1, 2011.

The OIS report addresses “green card” recipients who are persons granted lawful permanent resident status and have the unrestricted right to live and work in the U.S. The LPR data were collected from administrative records of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and are categorized by the residents’ countries of origin, the states they reside in, the years they obtained LPR status and whether such persons are eligible to become naturalized citizens.

The report estimates that a total of 13.1 million LPRs were living in the United States at the beginning of 2011. Fifty-nine percent of the total obtained LPR status between 2000 and 2010. OIS estimated that approximately 8.5 million LPRs were eligible to be naturalized.

The OIS issues reports such as this one to assist the government in assessing the effect of immigration on the country. The numbers are estimates because sources such as the U.S. Census do not count subcategories of non-citizens, such as LPRs, unauthorized immigrants, students and temporary workers.

Between 2010 and 2011, the total LPR population is estimated to have increased by 3.3 percent, while the LPR population eligible to become naturalized citizens increased by 5.7 percent. The increase in the LPR population overall is slow because, although the number of LPRs increase, this is offset by LPRs who become naturalized citizens.

The report also organizes data according to the year that LPR status was achieved. The years 2005 to 2010 account for 43 percent of the total, with 37 percent between 1990 and 2004, and the remaining 20 percent of LPRs having obtained that status before 1990.

The OIS categorizes LPRs by country of birth. Mexico is the leading source of LPRs, accounting for 3.3 million, or 25 percent of the total. The next leading countries of origin were China and the Philippines, which each accounted for 0.6 million LPRs. India and the Dominican Republic were each the countries of origin for 0.5 million LPRs.

The report also provides data regarding the state of residence of LPRs at the time that LPR status was obtained. The leader is California, with 3.4 million LPRs, or 25.9 percent of the total. New York, Texas and Florida were each estimated to have more than 1 million LPRs.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit Rabinowitzrabinowitz.com