US Naturalizations Reach Highest Level in a Decade
A new study shows that the number of immigrants who choose to become citizens in America is rising after a decline during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a Pew research center report, more than 900,000.000 immigrants became U.S citizens in the 2022 fiscal year. This is the highest number of immigrants in a decade.
This year’s total is the third highest ever recorded and the highest since the 2008 fiscal year, when more that one million immigrants were naturalized.
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The report analyzed data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security from the first three quarters of 2011.
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This coincides with an increase in travel and immigration to the United States. Another Pew report found an increase in green card recipients and an increase in tourists, international students and other temporary migrants.
The report states that naturalizations fell to 81,000 in the April-June 2020 period when the pandemic started, as compared to an average of 190,000 naturalizations every three months for the eight previous years.
Many are still waiting for approval from the government to naturalize their applications despite more immigrants becoming citizens. There was a backlog totaling 673,000 applications at the end June 2022. This is down from more than a million in December 2020 but still higher than the number of applications received during the 2012-2016 period.
The number of naturalizations for immigrants from all countries rose by 20% between 2022 and 2022, with the exception of China. The naturalization rate of Chinese citizens was 20% lower than pre-pandemic levels.
The most likely U.S. citizens are those who have green cards from Europe and Asia (73% each), followed by those from Latin America (56%), the Middle East and North Africa (72%), and sub-Saharan Africa (66%). These immigrants were more likely to become U.S. citizens if they had naturalized between 15 and 26 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.