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Who are counted among the foreign-born population?

The foreign-born population is composed of anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes naturalized U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents (immigrants), temporary migrants (such as foreign students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees and asylees), and unauthorized migrants. Everyone else is counted among the native-born population, which comprises anyone who is a U.S. citizen at birth, including people born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area (Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), or abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents.

Who are the foreign born?

The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term foreign born to refer to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes naturalized U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents (immigrants), temporary migrants (such as foreign students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees and asylees), and unauthorized migrants.

Who are the native born?

The U.S. Census Bureau uses the terms native and native born to refer to anyone born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area (Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands), or abroad of a U.S. citizen parent or parents.

What is nativity status?

Nativity status refers to whether a person is native-born or foreign-born.

What is generational status? Who is included in the first, second, and third-and-higher generations?

The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term generational status to refer to the place of birth of an individual or an individual’s parents. Questions on place of birth and parental place of birth are used to define the first, second, and third-and-higher generations. The first generation refers to those who are foreign born. The second generation refers to those with at least one foreign-born parent. The third-and-higher generation includes those with two U.S. native parents.

Does the Census Bureau collect data on parental place of birth?

Yes. Both the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement and Island Areas Census include two questions on parental place of birth, one on mother’s place of birth and a second on father’s place of birth.

Does the Census Bureau collect immigration data?

The U.S. Census Bureau directly collects and publishes survey data on the characteristics of foreign-born residents of the United States, such as country of birth, U.S. citizenship status, and year of entry into the United States.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics publishes statistics and reports based on administrative data, such as the numbers of persons obtaining legal permanent resident status, refugees and asylees, naturalizations, nonimmigrant admissions, and enforcement actions.

Additionally, the Census Bureau obtains selected administrative data from various federal agencies, including DHS, and uses those records for statistical purposes only. The Census Bureau does not share any personally identifiable information with any other agency, including law enforcement. All data at the Census Bureau, whether obtained from surveys or records from other agencies, are protected from disclosure and kept confidential under the law.

Does the Census Bureau collect data on the legal status of the foreign born?

Census Bureau does not directly collect data on the legal status of the foreign born on its surveys. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics publishes statistics and reports based on administrative data, such as the numbers of persons obtaining legal permanent resident status, refugees and asylees, naturalizations, nonimmigrant admissions, and enforcement actions. It also provides estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States.

The Census Bureau obtains selected administrative data from various federal agencies, including DHS, and uses those records for statistical purposes only. The Census Bureau does not share any personally identifiable information with any other agency, including law enforcement. All data at the Census Bureau, whether obtained from surveys or records from other agencies, are protected from disclosure and kept confidential under the law.

Do the data on the foreign born collected by the Census Bureau include unauthorized immigrants?

Yes. The U.S. Census Bureau collects data from all foreign born who participate in its censuses and surveys, regardless of legal status. Thus, unauthorized migrants are implicitly included in the Census Bureau estimates of the total foreign-born population.

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