A new study finds that the number of illegal immigrants in North Carolina has dropped more than 100,000 people since 2006.
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that about 250,000 illegal immigrants live in North Carolina. That's a significant drop from the 390,000 illegal immigrants the Pew Hispanic Center estimated to be living in the state in 2006.
The state numbers reflect a nationwide trend that show the number of illegal immigrants has dropped 8 percent to 11.1 million.
The new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center reports that the decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of the illegal immigrant population over the past two decades.
The center's analysis also found that the most marked decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants has been among those who come from Latin American countries other than Mexico. From 2007 to 2009, the size of this group from the Caribbean, Central America and South America decreased 22%.
Other major findings of the report include:
• Unauthorized immigrants accounted for 28% of the nation’s foreign-born population in 2009, a decline from 31% in 2007.
• Mexico accounted for 60% of unauthorized immigrants in 2009, or 6.7 million people. Other Latin American nations accounted for 20% of the total, or 2.2 million people. South and East Asia accounted for 11% of the total, or 1.2 million people.
• In 2009, 59% of unauthorized immigrants resided in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and New Jersey. However, the share living in those states has declined from 80% in 1990, as unauthorized immigrants have dispersed to new settlement areas.
• Nearly half of unauthorized immigrants living in the country in 2009—47%, or 5.2 million people—arrived in 2000 or later.
• The number of male unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 6.3 million and declined to 5.8 million in 2009. The number of female unauthorized immigrants, 4.2 million in 2009, is roughly the same as it was in 2007.
• The number of children who are unauthorized, 1.1 million in 2009, declined slightly over the decade. By contrast, the population of U.S.-born children with at least one unauthorized parent nearly doubled from 2000 to 2009, when they numbered 4 million.
• There were 7.8 million unauthorized immigrants in the labor force in 2009, or 5.1% of the total. The size of the unauthorized labor force peaked in 2007 and declined in both 2008 and 2009. There were 7 million unauthorized immigrants employed in March 2009.
• States with the largest shares of immigrants in the labor force are Nevada (9.4%), California (9.3%), Texas (8.7%) and New Jersey (8.7%).
• The unemployment rate for unauthorized immigrants of all ages in March 2009 was higher than that of U.S.-born workers or legal immigrants—10.4%, 9.2% and 9.1%, respectively.