Map the Impact: Immigrants in the Largest 100 Metro Areas

Learn more about immigrants in the largest metro areas in the U.S.
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While immigrants can be found across the United States in cities and in rural areas, the vast majority of immigrants live in America’s largest cities and suburban areas. In 2019, almost 38.2 million, or 85% of all immigrants in the United States lived in one of the 100 largest metro areas, in comparison to just two-thirds of the total U.S. population. 

According to an analysis of the latest ACS data from 2019, the most immigrant-dense metro area in 2019 was Miami, where almost 42% of the population was born abroad. San Jose follows closely in second with more than 40 percent of the population being immigrants.

Top Metro Areas by Immigrant Share of Population

Metro Area Immigrant Population, 2019 U.S.-born Population Total Population, 2019 Share of Population, Immigrant 2019
Miami Metro Area 2,570,043 3,593,130 6,163,173 41.7%
San Jose Metro Area 797,757 1,191,662 1,989,419 40.1%
Los Angeles Metro Area 4,345,412 8,862,527 13,207,939 32.9%
San Francisco Metro Area 1,448,050 3,284,140 4,732,190 30.6%
New York Metro Area 5,695,280 13,545,531 19,240,811 29.6%
McAllen Metro Area 226,370 644,284 870,654 26.0%
Houston Metro Area 1,653,139 5,411,558 7,064,697 23.4%
Stockton Metro Area 175,423 587,286 762,709 23.0%
San Diego Metro Area 767,193 2,568,429 3,335,622 23.0%
Las Vegas Metro Area 517,882 1,743,611 2,261,493 22.9%

Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area added more than 48,000 new immigrant residents between 2018 and 2019, making it the fastest growing metro area for immigrants. Other fast growing immigrant destinations were found in the South and on the West Coast, including San Jose, Austin, Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta.

In terms of share of the population, San Jose saw the largest increase in the share of its population that was foreign born, with immigrants making up 38.4% of the population in 2018 to 40.1% in 2019, an increase of 1.7 percentage points.

Top Metro Areas by Increase in Immigrant Population Share

Metro Area Immigrant Population, 2019 Increase Since 2018 Change in Share
San Jose Metro Area 797,757 31,632 1.7%
Raleigh Metro Area 176,349 19,784 1.2%
Bridgeport Metro Area 213,733 9,446 1.1%
Worcester Metro Area 119,444 8,139 0.8%
Austin Metro Area 351,452 24,119 0.7%
Charlotte Metro Area 274,200 20,105 0.7%
Las Vegas Metro Area 517,882 19,451 0.6%
Oxnard Metro Area 185,505 4,665 0.6%
Tulsa Metro Area 70,762 5,773 0.6%
Miami Metro Area 2,570,043 19,096 0.5%

More than half, or 55, of the top 100 metro areas saw increases in their immigrant population between 2018 and 2019. Immigrants are responsible for more than half of all growth in 19 metro areas, including some of the largest metro areas in the country like Dallas, Las Vegas, and Raleigh. 

In total, immigrants in the largest 100 metro areas were major drivers of local economies, earning more than $1.5 trillion in 2019 alone. This allowed them to by more than $439.6 billion in states, and hold almost $1.1 trillion in consumer spending power.

Top Metro Areas by Immigrant Spending Power, 2019

Metro Area Immigrant Pop., 2019 Income Federal Income Taxes State and Local Taxes Spending Power
New York Metro Area 5,695,280 $267.1 Billion $53.9 Billion $30.6 Billion $182.6 Billion
Los Angeles Metro Area 4,345,412 $167.5 Billion $31.1 Billion $15.7 Billion $120.6 Billion
Miami Metro Area 2,570,043 $79.8 Billion $13.9 Billion $5.2 Billion $60.6 Billion
San Francisco Metro Area 1,448,050 $87.1 Billion $19.6 Billion $8.4 Billion $59 Billion
Chicago Metro Area 1,653,094 $68.8 Billion $12.9 Billion $7.6 Billion $48.2 Billion
Washington Metro Area 1,439,608 $65.9 Billion $13.3 Billion $6.2 Billion $46.4 Billion
Houston Metro Area 1,653,139 $60 Billion $10.8 Billion $4.7 Billion $44.4 Billion
San Jose Metro Area 797,757 $59.3 Billion $14.1 Billion $5.9 Billion $39.4 Billion
Dallas Metro Area 1,461,995 $50.3 Billion $8.8 Billion $4.1 Billion $37.5 Billion
Seattle Metro Area 777,416 $43.7 Billion $9.4 Billion $3.3 Billion $31 Billion

While there were more than 2.8 immigrant entrepreneurs in the 100 largest metro areas, in 3 metro areas, immigrants were more than twice as likely to own their own business, Memphis, McAllen, and Jackson.

To find out more about immigrants in each of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States, as well as in all 50 states, visit NAE’s Map the Impact.

About Us

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…