Did you know which state has the most foreign-born people?  Oppositely, did you want to know which state has the lowest number of foreign-born persons?  Read on…  This post shows which state has the highest and lowest number of foreign-born population and people who speak foreign language at home.  We compiled the data from the Census Bureau (between 2008 and 2012).

International People

What are “foreign-born persons”?

They refer to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth, which includes:

  • Anyone who has become U.S. citizens through naturalization
  • Lawful permanent residents
  • Temporary migrants (e.g. overseas students)
  • Humanitarian migrants (e.g. refugees)
  • People illegally present in the United States

On average, 12.9% of population in the United States are foreign-born persons.

Foreign language spoken at home

To get additional context on the data, we added “Language Other than English Spoken at Home” on each State.  This attribute shows people who sometimes or always spoke a language other than English at home.  For example:

  • People who knew languages other than English but did not use them at home
  • People who only used them elsewhere

The data include only the responses of people 5 years old and over.  On average, 20.5% of population in the United States speak language other than English at home.

Interactive heat map of foreign-born population by state

Use the following heat map to reveal foreign-born statistics of each state.  Click on the state to see corresponding number of foreign-born persons.

Color Range

Foreign-born population statistics

California has the most foreign-born people in the country.  With 27.1% of the State population are foreign-born people and 43.5% of the population speak foreign language at home, California is well above the national average of 12.9% and   20.5% respectively.  In fact, it’s almost double the USA average.  Furthermore:

  • Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have a large number of population who speak language other than English at home.   One of the contributing factors is significant number of Hispanic or Latino decent in the States (between 30% and 47%).
  • On the opposite side, West Virginia has the least number of foreign-born people of only 1.4%, which is way below the national average.

Refer to the chart below for further details.  The chart is sorted in descending order by foreign-born population.

US States by Foreign-born Population and Foreign Language Spoken at Home