In 2008, a record-high 12.7 million Mexican immigrants lived in the United States, accounting for fully a third (32%) of the entire immigrant population. No other country in the world has as many total immigrants from all countries as the U.S. has immigrants from Mexico alone. The second-largest nationality of immigrants, Filipinos, accounts for just 5% of all immigrants. The large Mexican immigrant population is a recent phenomenon. In 1960, Mexico ranked seventh as a source of immigrants to the U.S.; as of 1970, fewer than one million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S. But the number of Mexicans immigrants doubled from 1980 to 1990 and more than doubled from 1990 to 2000. All told, the current Mexican immigrant population is almost 17-times larger than it was in 1970. More than half (55%) of Mexican immigrants are unauthorized, totaling 59% of the estimated 11.9 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.