This is with thanks to BLACK PIGEON SPEAKS! Using the numbers below and the idea (fact really) that the largest population of illegal immigrants live in California, I would say California illegal population is at least 13% of Cali’s population. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say, then, that it could be as high as 20% (so 2-of-every-10 residents). Here are some other factoids:
Most undocumented immigrants are from Latin America. Nationwide, 78% of undocumented immigrants are from Latin America—a slight majority (52%) come from Mexico alone. Most of the others (13%) are from Asia, although Africa and Europe also account for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the US. The Pew Research Center (PRC) estimates that as of 2014, 71% of California’s undocumented population was Mexican-born.
We apply standard operational principles of inflows and outflows to estimate the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, using the best available data, including some that has only recently become available. We generate a lower bound for the number of undocumented immigrants using conservative parameter values that underestimate inflows and overestimate outflows.
Our lower bound is close to 17 million, 50% higher than the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million, which is based on survey data and thus different sources and methods. Standard parameter values generate an estimate of 22.8 million undocumented immigrants, twice as large as the current estimate.
Conservatives have argued for well over a decade that the number of illegal immigrants is widely underestimated by the government, and think tanks which base their calculations on government data—finally academics are beginning to take an independent look at the problem.
But the fact that the paper needed to be written at all highlights an insidious problem: we really don’t know how many illegal immigrants live in the US. With that in mind, I think it’s worth surveying the research on the topic—at the very least I’ll be able to give you some context for the broader debate….