MA immigrants region of originWhere immigrants in Mass. come from. Data from MPI.

Facts about immigrants & refugees

Scores of reports and factsheets about immigrants are published every year, mainly at the national level, but also some at the state and local levels. This page highlights key resources that we find particularly useful and cite in our own work, plus some MIRA-produced factsheets. Key reports that highlight immigration policy issues are included as well.

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MIRA factsheets:

Immigrants are our Commonwealth (January 2019)

Immigrants in the Massachusetts Economy (updated November 2019)

Temporary Protected Status (updated April 2019)

Defending the Dream (updated January 2019)

In-State Tuition for Immigrant Students (updated January 2020)

The Safe Communities Act (November 2019)

Young children of immigrants in Massachusetts (January 2020)

Expanding access to home visiting programs for immigrant and refugee families in Massachusetts (January 2020)

See Reason magazine’s visual primer, What part of legal immigration don’t you understand? (2008)


• Massachusetts immigration data profile (Migration Policy Institute, updated periodically) 

Immigrants and the economy in Massachusetts (Partnership for a New American Economy, updated periodically)

Changing Faces of Greater Boston (report by Boston Indicators and UMass Boston, May 2019)

• Profile of the unauthorized population: Massachusetts (Migration Policy Institute, using 2014 data)

• U.S. unauthorized immigrant population estimates by state, 2016 (online tool by Pew Research Center)

• Second generation immigrants in Massachusetts have among the highest incomes in the country (Boston Indicators research snapshot, October 2019)

The Growing Wave of Federal Immigration Restrictions: What's at Stake for Massachusetts? (policy-oriented report by Boston Indicators and the Boston Foundation, June 2019)

• Refugees in Massachusetts (Partnership for a New American Economy, November 2019) 

• Immigrants and the economy in the Boston Metro Area (Partnership for a New American Economy, updated periodically; data also available for other metro areas and by Congressional district)

• Boston’s Immigrant Labor Force (Boston Planning & Development Agency, July 2018)

The Importance of Immigrants to Boston’s Continued Prosperity (slides by Alvaro Lima, Director of Research, Boston Planning & Development Agency, presented at a Boston Foundation forum, April 2017)

• Immigrants in Boston: Enriching our Region (research highlights from The Boston Indicators Project, April 2017)

• The Economic Impact of Immigration on the U.S. (Mass. Technology Leadership Council, June 2017, with companion report on DACA published in November 2017)

• Sociodemographic Portrait of Immigrant and U.S.-Born Parents of Young Children in Massachusetts (factsheet by the Migration Policy Institute, December 2016; see also national report)

• Refugee Arrivals to Massachusetts by Country of Origin (Mass. Office for Refugees & Immigrants; latest data from 2016)

Dual Language Learners: A Demographic and Policy Profile for Massachusetts (Migration Policy Institute, October 2017; note a large share of DLLs are the U.S.-born children of immigrants)

National and global data & reports:

• Mexicans decline to less than half the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population for the first time (published online by Pew Research Center, June 2019)

• Under the Radar: The Trump Administration’s Stealth Attack on the U.S. Immigration System (policy-oriented report from U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey’s office, May 2019)

• Facts on U.S. immigrants, 2016 (published online by Pew Research Center, September 2018)

U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Total Dips to Lowest Level in a Decade (report by Pew Research Center, November 2018)

Refugee Statistics (UN High Commissioner for Refugees website, updated regularly)

• The Facts on Immigration Today: 2017 Edition (report from Center for American Progress, April 2017)

• Origins and destinations of the world’s migrants, 1990-2017 (interactive tool from Pew Research Center, February 2018)

• Immigration projected to drive growth in U.S. working-age population through at least 2035 (published online by Pew Research Center, March 2017)

• Undocumented Immigrants' State & Local Tax Contributions (report by Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, March 2017)

• Immigration myths – crime and the number of illegal immigrants (published online by Cato Institute, March 2017)

• The effects of sanctuary policies on crime and the economy (published online by Center for American Progress, January 2017)