CMS Releases New Database Featuring Estimates and Characteristics of US Unauthorized Immigrants

CMS Releases New Database Featuring Estimates and Characteristics of US Unauthorized Immigrants


New York, NY – The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) announces the release of an innovative database that provides detailed information about US unauthorized residents at the national, state and sub-state levels. The database derives from data collected in the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and is supplemented by recent estimates produced by Robert Warren, CMS Senior Visiting Fellow and former INS Statistics Division Director. It has been developed in partnership with the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, which, among other initiatives, maintains databases on income, employment, taxes, sectors of the economy, education, demographics and other economic indicators for the nation, the state and local areas.

The new database is available at It offers two data tools, which are searchable by state and by public use microdata sample areas (PUMAs).

The State Data Tool provides data across 18 variables on the unauthorized population for all selected US states. Users will also be able to select multiple states to run aggregated results. The State Data Tool is available at

The PUMA Data Tool allows users to hone in on PUMA areas – geographic areas recognized by the US Census Bureau that have a population of approximately 100,000 people. Although the geography of a PUMA area will not necessarily “match” an existing city or county, users will be able to find descriptions the general boundaries of individual PUMAs by “hovering over” these areas on a map or simply entering the name of sub-state area. Similar to the State Data Tool, users will also be able to select multiple PUMAs to aggregate estimates. The PUMA Data Tool is available at

In announcing public accessibility to this tool, Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, commented:

“CMS’s new dataset will be useful to scholars, researchers, service-providers and government officials in crafting, implementing and evaluating programs that serve noncitizens, including the unauthorized population. The new estimates also provide an opportunity to examine the dramatic changes in unauthorized immigration in the past two decades and revisit the assumptions that have shaped US policies and public opinion.”

A detailed description of the project and the methodology employed by Mr. Warren is available in “Democratizing Data about Unauthorized Residents in the United States: Estimates and Public Use Data” at A recent analysis, “Beyond DAPA and DACA: Revisiting Legislative Reform in Light of Long-Term Trends in Unauthorized Immigration to the United States,” by Mr. Warren and Mr. Kerwin can be found at

CMS will introduce and demonstrate the new data tools during a webinar on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 1:00pm Eastern Time. Registration is required. To attend the webinar, register at Instructions on how to join the webinar will be provided in an email confirming registration and please send questions for the Q&A session, which will follow the presentations, to [email protected].

Interviews are available upon request by contacting Rachel Reyes at (212) 337-3080 x.7012 or [email protected].

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) is a New York-based educational institute devoted to the study of migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants and newcomers. For more information, please visit

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