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Immigrants

 

201,668 foreign-born residents in Travis County in 2013

 

Why This Population is Vulnerable: Foreign-born residents are vulnerable to negative outcomes on a number of indicators. Foreign-born Travis County residents are more likely than non-foreign-born residents to have low-incomes, limited English proficiency, and lack health insurance. Depending on their citizenship status, foreign-born residents may face barriers to accessing certain government programs, as well.

 

The Face of Immigrants in Travis County

In 2013, 18% of Travis County residents and 18.1% of residents of the City of Austin were foreign-born. The City and County are home to a higher proportion of foreign-born residents than the state of Texas and the nation as a whole.

Graph showing the percentage of the population who can accurately be described as immigrants in 5 geographical regions: USA, Texas, the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos MSA, Travis County, and the City of Austin

Definition: The percentage of total residents who were born outside the United States (includes both U.S. citizens and non-citizens)

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, Selected Social Characteristics, DP02

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

key issues that affect immigrants

At their 2014 meetings, the CAN Community Council heard presentations by local collaboratives and service providers, including the Immigrant Services Network of Austin, the City of Austin Commission on Immigrant Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition. Community Council members discussed the needs and challenges of immigrants in our area. Top barriers and challenges identified at these meetings included:

  • Immigrants need information on our nation’s laws, community customs, and their rights
     
  • Insufficient command of the English language is the most common reason for rejection of an application for citizenship
     
  • Undocumented residents face the threat of deportation, barriers in finding a place to live, are often taken advantage of by employers, and are hesitant to report crime and domestic violence
     
  • Undocumented residents do not qualify for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
     

some local efforts to improve the well-being of immigrants

system changes recommended to improve the well-being of immigrants

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» Percentages of foreign-born residents who are not citizens

 

In 2013, 68% of Travis County foreign-born residents and 71% of foreign-born residents of the City of Austin were not citizens. In Austin and Travis County, non-citizens make up a greater share of the foreign-born population than in the state of Texas and the nation as a whole. Since 2010, however, the percentage of foreign-born residents who are not citizens has declined locally. Estimates of the size of the undocumented population are unavailable at the local level. In 2012, the Pew Research Center estimated that there were 1,750,000 undocumented residents of Texas and 11.7 million nationwide. In the U.S. as a whole, the number of undocumented residents has fallen since the 2007 recession, while this population has continued to grow steadily in Texas. According to the Migration Policy Institute, between 2009 and 2013, an estimated 79,000 unauthorized immigrants lived in Travis County.

Graph showing the percentage of the foreign-born residents who are not citizens. This includes both undocumented residents and lawfully-present non-citizens.

Definition: The percentage of foreign-born residents who are not citizens. This includes both undocumented residents and lawfully-present non-citizens.

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, Selected Social Characteristics, DP02

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» Ages of foreign-born residents in travis county

 

Most foreign-born residents are of working age. In 2013, 50.3% of foreign-born residents of Travis County were between the ages of 25 and 44, compared to 32% on native-born residents.

Graph showing the percentage of foreign-born residents of Travis County who fall into each age range

 

 

Definition: The percentage of foreign-born residents of Travis County who fall into each age range

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, 2012, S0501: Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign-Born Population

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» Percentages of foreign-born residents who entered after the year 2000

 

In 2013, 49.0% of Travis County foreign-born residents and 50.6% of foreign-born residents of the City of Austin entered the United States after the year 2000. Immigrants in the Austin/Travis County area were more likely to have arrived since 2000 than immigrants in the state and nation as a whole.

Graph showing the percentage of the foreign-born residents who are not citizens. This includes both undocumented residents and lawfully-present non-citizens.

Definition: The percentage of foreign-born residents who entered the United States after 2010

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, B05005:Year of Entry by Nativity and Citizenship Status in the United States

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» Origins of foreign-born residents in travis county

 

In 2013, about half of Travis County foreign-born residents were born in Mexico, with another 13% born in other parts of Latin America. Another quarter of the foreign-born population was born in Asia.

Graph showing the age structure for veterans and non-veterans in Travis County

Definition: The percentage of foreign-born residents who originally lived in a given World region.

Data Source: American Community Survey, 3-year estimates,, 2011-2013, Table B05006: Place of Birth for the Foreign-Born Population in the United States

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data. This graph uses 3-year ACS estimates, as data from 1-year estimates were not available for this information.

» Languages spoken at home by nativity, travis county, 2013

 

In Travis County, foreign-born residents are more likely to speak a language other than English at home. Travis County residents who speak a language other than English are most likely to speak Spanish. In 2013, 59.4% of foreign-born residents and 16.2% of U.S.-born residents spoke Spanish at home.

Graph showing the percentage of residents (5 years and over) who speak a given language-type at home by nativity

Definition: The percentage of residents (5 years and over) who speak a given language-type at home by nativity

Data Source: American Community Survey, 2013, 1-year estimates, B16005: Nativity by Language Spoken at Home by Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 years and over

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» percentage of the population (ages 5 and older), by nativity, who speak english less than "very well"

 

Foreign-born residents are more likely than native residents to speak English less than “very well”. In 2013, 53% of foreign-born residents of Travis County and 51.7% of foreign-born residents of the City of Austin spoke English less than “very well.”

Graph showing the percentage of foreign-born residents of Travis County who fall into each age range

 

 

Definition: The percentage of residents (5 years and over), by nativity, who speak English less than “very well”

Data Source: American Community Survey, 2013, 1-year estimates, B16005: NATIVITY BY LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME BY ABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH FOR THE POPULATION 5 YEARS AND OVER - Universe: Population 5 years and over

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» percentage of uninsured by citizenship status travis county, 2013

 

Foreign-born residents who are non-citizens are more likely to be uninsured than other groups. Although non-citizen residents of the Austin/Travis County area are more likely to have insurance than non-citizens in Texas as a whole, their uninsured rate remains above that for non-citizens in the U.S. as a whole. In 2013, 51% of non-citizens in Travis County lacked health insurance compared to only 13.3% of native-born residents and 18% of residents who have gone through the naturalization process.

Graph showing the percentage of residents, by nativity and citizenship status, who do not have health insurance

Definition: The percentage of residents, by nativity and citizenship status, who do not have health insurance

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, 2013, B27020: Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type by Citizenship status

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» housing-cost burdened travis county, 2013

 

Non-citizen residents who own a home are substantially more likely to pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs than native-born residents. As is the general trend, renters are more likely to be housing cost-burdened than owners. In Travis County, in 2013, 37.2% of non-citizen homeowners and 54.3% of non-citizen renters were housing cost-burdened.

Graph showing the percentage of foreign-born households where monthly rent (plus utility and/or housing fuel costs) or mortgage payments (or other housing debt costs) equal 30% of more of a household’s monthly income

 

 

Definition: The percentage of foreign-born households where monthly rent (plus utility and/or housing fuel costs) or mortgage payments (or other housing debt costs) equal 30% of more of a household’s monthly income

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, 2013, S0501: Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign-Born Populations

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

how this population fares on dashboard indicators

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» Percentages with incomes below the federal poverty thresholds

Individuals who are not citizens are more likely to have incomes below the poverty level than native-born or naturalized citizens. In 2013, in Travis County, 27.9% of non-citizens had incomes below the poverty level, compared to 14.5% of native born and 13.7% of naturalized citizens.

Graph showing the percentage of residents, by nativity and citizenship status, with incomes below the federal poverty threshold in the past 12 months

Definition: The percentage of residents, by nativity and citizenship status, with incomes below the federal poverty threshold in the past 12 months

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, 2013, Table B17025: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months by Nativity

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» educational attainment

 

Educational attainment varies greatly by citizenship status and nativity. A much higher percentage of non-citizens than native-born citizens hold less than a high-school-level education (41.4% of non-citizens vs. 6.2% of native-born residents). At the same time, foreign-born residents who have naturalized are about as likely as native-born residents to hold a graduate or professional degree (20.9% of naturalized citizens vs. 17.2% of native-born citizens).

Graph showing the percentage of residents who have attained a specific level of education, by nativity and citizenship status

Definition: The percentage of residents who have attained a specific level of education, by nativity and citizenship status

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1-year, 2012, S0501: Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign-Born Population

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.