Indian Immigrants Account for a Key Share of Foreign-Born Texas Residents

By December 30, 2013News & Press

Ask most people what country is the source of the majority of immigrants to Texas, and the vast majority would probably and rightfully answer with Mexico, the Lone Star State’s neighbor to the south. However, it is safe to say that few people, even within Texas itself, would be able to note India as an prominent country of origin for those immigrating to Texas—much less correctly cite India as the third leading nation in that category.

Immigrants have become increasingly visible in the fabric of Texas society, with U.S. Census Bureau figures pegging the state as experiencing the second biggest jump—
44.9 percent—of foreign-born residents from 2000 to 2011 within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly, immigrants from Latin America constituted 74.2 percent of foreign-born residents in Texas in 2011, with 59.6 percent from the leading source, Mexico, and 4.3 percent from El Salvador, the second leading country of origin of the foreign-born in Texas.

Asia ranks second as a continental source of foreign-born residents in Texas, accounting for 18.5 percent of all immigrants. India is the largest single point of origin, and a growing one at that, for these immigrants. Indeed, the surge in immigration from this subcontinent to Texas between 2000 and 2011 has set India ahead of erstwhile second-ranking Vietnam. India advanced ahead of Vietnam to assume the third rank among countries of origin in 2011—from 2.9 percent to 3.9 percent—after Mexico and El Salvador.

On a national level, the most recent figures on the foreign-born population from India are only available from Census 2000, but even those numbers place Texas high on the list of destinations for immigrants from India. While California, New Jersey, New York and Illinois were the four states with the largest foreign-born populations from India in 2000, Texas ranked fifth, with 78,388 immigrants from the subcontinent (or 7.7 percent of all Indian-born immigrants in the United States).

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