Where did most of Arizona’s foreign-born population come from? The No. 2 country may surprise you

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 23, 2023, 10:31 PM
Where did most of Arizona's foreign-born population come from? The No. 2 country may surprise you

It’s probably no surprise that most foreign-born Arizona residents were born in Mexico. But the second-highest number is a country that might require a few guesses.

India was the original homeland for the greatest number of foreign-born Arizonans after Mexico, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2021.

In fact, most of Arizona’s top sources of foreign-born residents could be a surprise in some ways. The state’s 10 most common foreign birthplaces account for 76% of all Arizonans born outside the U.S.

Here’s how the numbers break down, according to the Census Bureau’s best estimates.

How many residents does Arizona have?

Arizona has about 7.3 million residents overall. That includes the state’s estimated undocumented immigrants, as well as its legal, foreign-born residents.

About 922,000 residents were born outside the U.S., or 12.7%. That’s about one in every eight Arizonans who were born in another country.

Of that group, 495,000 were born in Mexico. That’s about the same as the population of Mesa, the third-most populous city in the state.

Nearly a quarter of all U.S. immigrants were born in Mexico, but in Arizona the share of Mexican-born residents is far higher, about 54%.

After Mexico, India is the second-highest birthplace of foreign-born Arizonan residents

After that, India was the birthplace for about 43,000 Arizonans. That tops the 40,000 Canadian-born residents, who might seem a more likely guess, especially in the winter. Arizona still has more than double the share of Canadian-born residents as the rest of the U.S.

Three Asian nations provide the next-largest sources of foreign-born residents. There are a combined 70,000 Arizona residents from the Philippines, mainland China and Vietnam.

Guatemala ranks seventh for the U.S. and for Arizona. Like Arizona’s other top countries outside North America, their numbers here are notably smaller than their shares nationally.

Germany comes in eighth for Arizona, with about 14,000, and is the only European country in the state’s top 10. Germans make up a slightly higher share of Arizona residents than they do nationally.

South Korea and El Salvador round out Arizona’s top 10, with about 10,000 residents each.

Some of the biggest sources of foreign-born residents nationally that occupy a far smaller slice of Arizona are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Jamaica and Honduras.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Where most of Arizona’s foreign-born population came from

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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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