Every place in America is home to a unique group of immigrants, and California is no exception. This report uses the term immigrant more or less synonymously with the term foreign-born, meaning anyone residing in California who was born in another country. Only the latter term is reported by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), the primary data source for this report.
How many people in California were born in another country?
The foreign-born population includes both non-citizens and naturalized citizens living in California, California. It may include some California residents who do not consider themselves true immigrants, such as students and expatriates from other countries. It does not include children with immigrant parents—many of whom were born on U.S. soil. The tiles below show a few basic statistics about California that put the foreign-born population in context.
By the Numbers:
Where do immigrants live throughout California?
This map shows the foreign-born population as a percent of each county's total population in California. Hover over a county to see its percentage.
What languages do immigrants speak at home in California?
The ACS divides languages spoken by California residents into several broad categories, based on the major families of spoken languages.
Asian and Pacific Island languages include Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, and languages spoken by indigenous people of Australia along with other Pacific cultures.
Indo-European languages include a huge swath of spoken languages, ranging from French to Farsi, along with the many languages spoken on the Indian subcontinent. English and Spanish are also Indo-European languages, but are recorded in separate categories.
Other languages include Arabic and Hebrew, many languages spoken in Africa, Native American languages, and Hungarian.
How many immigrants in California do not speak English well ?
This measure means that a California resident reported speaking English "not well" or "not at all" in the American Community Survey. It excludes foreign-born residents who report speaking English "well" or "very well," or who spoke English as their only language.
The bar chart below shows which languages are spoken by foreign-born California residents who lack English fluency.
About the Data
Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates, with the exception of the county-level map, which uses 5-year estimates.
• Percentage and number of foreign-born: Table DP02.
• Total population: Table B05012.
• Number of naturalized citizens: Table B05005.
• Percentage of foreign-born who do not speak English well: Table B16004.
• English Fluency and Spoken Language: Table B16005.
This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.