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Undocumented Population At 10-Year Low Nationwide, Stays Stable In Texas

By contrast, in the 12 years prior to 2007, Texas’ unauthorized population doubled. 

A new Pew Research Center study shows the undocumented population nationwide has dropped to its lowest number in a decade, down to 10.7 million people in 2016. The decline is partly due to a sharp decrease in the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants arriving to the United States.

However, the nationwide trend does not extend to the border state of Texas, though California, Arizona and New Mexico did see a decline in the unauthorized population since 2007.

“Nationally, we’re seeing a decline in the number of unauthorized immigrants but in Texas the number was stable,” Pew researcher D’Vera Cohn told Houston Matters in an interview. 

The undocumented population in Texas was 1.55 million people in 2007 and 1.6 million people in 2016, creeping up 3% over those ten years. 

By contrast, in the 12 years prior to 2007, Texas’ unauthorized population doubled. 

Texas also saw a slight increase in the number of undocumented workers, though their overall share of the workforce was down.

“Texas is also attracting U.S.-born workers and legal immigrant workers and those numbers are growing more rapidly,” according to Cohn. 

She said economic opportunity is likely what’s driving immigrants and others to come to the state.

Using the interactive graph below, you can see undocumented population trends in Texas, the United States and other states, since 1990.

The study comes as the Trump administration railed against Central American arrivals at the U.S. border and threatened to close it down. 

Pew data also shows the median length of time an undocumented immigrant has lived in the U.S. is 15 years.

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