America's Foreign-Born: Younger, Regionally Concentrated, Family Oriented

{{ BIZOBJ (photo: 17872) }} More than half of the United States' foreign-born population in 2010 lived in just four states in 2010 -- California, New York, Texas, and Florida -- according to a recent Census Bureau estimate.

More than a quarter of U.S. residents born outside the country lived in California where one in four residents was foreign-born, according to the report.

The report released earlier this month indicated that most of America's foreign-born population are from Latin America and Asia. They are younger than the general population, their households are larger than those of native residents, and they are more likely to live with children and grandparents. Half speak English at least "very well."

There were about 40 million foreign-born residents living in the country in 2010, representing about 13 percent of the population. About 40 percent are naturalized citizens. Of those who entered the country before 1980,  that rate jumps to about 80 percent.

More than half were from Latin America (half of those were from Mexico). Nearly a third hailed from Asia, and 12 percent originated in Europe. Less than 5 percent were from Africa. Those born in North America made up about 2 percent of the foreign-born population. The share of those from Oceania was even less -- 1 percent.

The foreign-born population was younger than their native counterpart, the report said. About half were between the ages of 18 and 44, compared to one-third of the native population. The foreign-born were more likely to be in the labor force. More than a quarter worked in management, business, science or art. An additional quarter worked in service occupations.

The foreign-born also were more likely to be married and less likely to be divorced, and their households were, on average, larger than native households. They were more likely to include minor children and be multigenerational, the report said.

More than half of the foreign-born came to the United States after 1990; about one-third entered after 2000. About half of all foreign-born either spoke only English or spoke English "very well" despite speaking another language at home.

Although the majority of those born outside the U.S. were high school graduates, they were more likely than the native-born to lack a high school diploma. About a quarter of those over 25 had at least a bachelor's degree.

About two-thirds had some sort of health insurance.

The median income for those born outside the country was less than that of native-born residents. And the foreign-born were more likely to live in poverty,  according to the report.