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Washington, U.S.A. — A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies provides a detailed picture of immigrants (legal and illegal) in the United States and in Nevada. Using the Census Bureau data from 2010 and 2011, the study reveals Nevada’s immigrant population as one of the fastest growing of the top immigrant receiving states.
The report is online at http://cis.org/2012-profile-of-americas-foreign-born-population.
Nevada’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew 61 percent (192,000) from 2000 to 2010. Nationally the immigrant population grew 28 percent over the same period. Immigrants accounted for 19 percent of Nevada residents in 2010, the fifth largest share in the country. Immigrants are 23 percent of workers in the state.
Of Nevada immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18), 20 percent live in poverty compared to 13 percent of natives and their children. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) account for 25 percent of the state’s overall population and 34 percent of all persons in poverty.
Of Nevada immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18), 31 percent lack health insurance, compared to 18 percent of natives and their children (under 18). Immigrants and their children account for 37 percent of those without insurance in the state.
Nevada immigrants’ home ownership rate of 53 percent is similar to the 58 percent for natives. Of households headed by immigrants in Nevada, 25 percent used at least one major welfare program, primarily food assistance and Medicaid, compared to 18 percent of native-headed households.
The lower socio-economic status of Nevada’s immigrants relative to natives is not because most are recent arrivals. Their average length of residence in the United States is 20 years. One of the primary reasons immigrants in the state tend to be poor than natives is a large share arrive in the U.S. as adults with relatively low levels of education.
Of adult immigrants (25 to 65) in the state 30 percent have not completed high school, compared to 7 percent of natives. The share of immigrants in the state with at least a bachelor’s degree (21 percent) is lower than the 27 percent of natives.
In 2010, more than one third of public school students in Nevada were from immigrant households. Overall, 34 percent of public school students in the state speak a language other than English at home.
Our best estimate is that slightly less than half of Nevada immigrants are in the country illegally. Illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) account for 12 percent of the state’s overall population, 20 percent those in poverty, 24 percent of the uninsured and 22 percent of the school age population.