A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 40 million foreign-born people were living in the country in 2010 – the highest percentage of the total population since 1920.
Just a decade earlier, only 31 million people, or 11% of the population, residing in the country were born elsewhere.
While foreign-born residents resided in every state, more than half lived in just the “gateway” states: California, New York, Texas and Florida.
The report was based on the 2010 American Community Survey, a poll of 3 million American households.
More than half (53%) of all foreign-born residents were from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the report.
By comparison, just 28% of the foreign-born population was born in Asia, 12% in Europe, 4% in Africa, 2% in Northern America and less than 1% in Oceania.
While foreign-born residents resided in every state, more than half lived in just the “gateway” states, California, New York, Texas and Florida
Forty-four percent of all foreign-born residents were naturalized citizens.
While foreign-born residents resided in every state, more than half lived in just four states: California (25%), New York (11%), Texas (10%) and Florida (9%).
At least one in four (27%) residents in California was foreign-born.
New York, Texas and California are traditional “gateway” states for immigrants.
West Virginia had the smallest percentage, with just 1% born outside the U.S.
The new report by the census bureau revealed new information about the size of foreign-born households, their median incomes, and whether or not they lived above or below the poverty line.
According to the report, foreign-born people were more likely to be employed than native-born Americans: 68% versus 64%.
However, those people born outside the country were less likely to have health insurance and more likely to live below the poverty line.
Just 66% of the foreign-born population had health insurance, compared with 87% of the native population.
The median household income of foreign born households was $46,224 while native households made $50,541.
According to an American survey, more than one third of U.S. citizens would fail the country’s citizenship test for immigrants.
The study, conducted by the Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio, found that one in three respondents would fail the civics portion of the test given to those applying for U.S. citizenship.
More than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 were asked 10 random questions from the civics test, which asks about US history and government topics.
Of those questioned, 35% were unable to answer the pass mark of five correctly.
The most common questions people got wrong revolved around the different functions of government, and how power was distributed between the federal and state governments.
Seventy-five per cent of respondents didn’t know what the judicial branch does, while 71% could not name the U.S. constitution as the “law of the land”.
Furthermore, 57% could not define what an amendment was.
According to an American survey, more than one third of U.S. citizens would fail the country's citizenship test for immigrants
Most of those surveyed did the best on history and geography-related questions.
Despite this, another study found that 60% of Americans believe that being able to pass the government portion of the naturalization exam is a prerequisite for a high school diploma.
There are two parts to the citizenship exam, namely the English test and the civics test.
In the English test, an applicant’s ability to speak, read and write using the language are all assessed.
In the civics portion, the applicant is quizzed on US history and government topics.
According to U.S. News and World Report, 97% of immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship pass the test.
Ten sample questions
The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
We elect a President for how many years?
What is the name of the President of the United States now?
If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
What is the highest court in the United States?
What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
There were 13 original states. Name three.
What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?