Democratizing Data Initiative
Since 2013, the Center for Migration Studies has developed detailed, publicly accessible estimates of the US undocumented, eligible-to-naturalize, and other immigrant populations based on the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data.
In 2021, CMS produced estimates and profiles of 40 immigrant populations who were potentially eligible for special legal status programs and for legalization programs under pending bills. CMS provides detailed profiles of these groups on national, state, and sub-state levels. This work has been particularly important to community-based organizations (CBOs) that want to expand their work with immigrants, to policymakers that want to understand the likely effects of public policies, and to local governments and CBOs that want ensure that immigrants can access the government programs and services for which they are eligible.
CMS has published dozens of reports and articles based on this data, running the gamut from a critique of the border wall (given the high number of undocumented immigrants that overstay visas), to the immense contributions and successful integration of refugees over time, to eligibility for Biden-era programs, and to the disproportionate representation of undocumented immigrants and refugees among the “essential workers’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the scope and depth of the ACS’s questions, CMS can derive detailed estimates that include country of origin, years of US residency, race/ethnicity, occupation, health insurance coverage, and more. Estimates and profiles produced for this initiative have been broadly used by scholars, researchers, government officials, and service providers in crafting, implementing, and evaluating programs that serve noncitizens.
Data available upon request here.
Estimates of the US Undocumented and Other Immigrant Populations
CMS offers detailed estimates and characteristics of the US undocumented and other immigrant populations at national, state, and sub-state levels. Conduct your own queries at data.cmsny.org
Data Request Form
The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) publishes estimates on the size and characteristics of the US undocumented and naturalization-eligible populations at national, state, and sub-state levels.
At data.cmsny.org, users can conduct their own queries of these populations. Based on its estimates, CMS has also published numerous reports and articles on immigrants potentially eligible for legalization under pending bills, how to expand access to naturalization, immigrant essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other issues of concern to policymakers.
In addition to its extensive, publicly-available data offerings, CMS also strives to answer individual queries that serve the public good. For example, CMS has produced data summaries and estimates for community-based organizations seeking to better understand the populations they serve, assisted researchers in their projects, and journalists reporting on their communities. If you have a data request that goes beyond CMS’s published estimates, we encourage you to reach out to us via the form below.
Please complete all sections of the Data Request Form. A staff member from CMS will contact you about your data request.
Democratizing Data Methodology
A detailed description of the methodology used for this initiative is available at:
Robert Warren, 2021 “In 2019, the US Undocumented Population Continued a Decade-Long Decline and the Foreign-Born Population Neared Zero Growth.” Journal on Migration and Human Security. DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2331502421993746.