The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that some 12.6 million foreigners legally resided in the United States last year, a figure that has remained stable in recent years.
As of January 2010, there were 12,630,000 legal permanent residents, including people granted lawful permanent residence, “green card” recipients, but not those who had become US citizens.
Among the legal residents, an estimated 8.1 million were eligible for naturalization, the Department of Homeland Security said.
Some 12.5 million people were legal residents in 2009, compared to 12.6 million in 2008.
A quarter (26 percent) of legal residents in 2010 were born in Mexico, far outpacing other Latin American countries, including the Dominican Republic (3.5 percent), Cuba (2.9 percent), El Salvador (2.5 percent), Colombia (1.9 percent) and 1.4 percent from Guatemala.
The 10 leading countries of origin accounted for 55 percent of legal residents and also included the Philippines and China (4.4 percent each), India (four percent), Canada (2.6 percent), Vietnam (2.5 percent) and Britain (2.3 percent).
Most legal residents, or 3.3 million, lived in California last year, compared to 1.6 million in New York, 1.2 million in Texas and 1.2 million in Florida. Together, those four states were home to 58 percent of legal residents.
Also, nearly eleven million undocumented migrants live in the United States, most of them Hispanics, according to the Department of Homeland Security estimates.
The Americano / AFP