2009 Anual Flow Report

USCIS reports on naturalization trends in the previous year

Here are some highlights from the USCIS 2009 Anual Flow Report:

  • The number of persons naturalizing in the United States declined to 743,715 in 2009 from 1,046,539 in 2008. The 2008 number, an all-time record, followed a surge in applications in 2007 in advance of a fee increase and efforts to encourage eligible immigrants to naturalize. The number of applications for naturalization, which declined from 2007 to 2008, edged upward to 570,000 in 2009. Additionally, the number of naturalization applications pending a decision decreased to 230,000 by the end of 2009.
  • 37% of persons naturalizing in 2009 were born in Asia, followed by 34% from North America, and 12% from Europe.
  • Mexico was the leading country of birth of persons naturalizing in 2009 (15%). The next leading countries of origin were India (7.1%), the Philippines (5.2%), the People’s Republic of China (5.0 %), and Vietnam (4.2 %). Next were Cuba (3.3%), Dominican Republic (2.8%), El Salvador (2.5%), and Korea (2.4%). These 10 countries  accounted for 50% of all new citizens in 2009.
  • From 2008 to 2009, naturalizations increased among immigrants from African countries but decreased among immigrants from all other regions. The greatest decrease in naturalizations—in number and as a percentage of all naturalizations—occurred among immigrants from North American countries.
  • 74% of all persons naturalizing in 2009 resided in 10 states. California was home to the largest percentage of persons naturalizing (24%), followed by New York (12%) and Florida (11%). Next came Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, Washington, and Maryland.
  • 54% of all new citizens in 2009 lived in 10 metropolitan areas. The leading metropolitan areas of residence were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (15%), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (11%), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (7.3%).
  • From 2008 to 2009, naturalizations declined in all leading states of residence except Washington. The greatest percentage decrease in the number of naturalizations occurred in New Jersey (41%) and California (40%). Among leading metropolitan areas of residence, the largest percentage decreases occurred in San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (45%) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (39%).
  • Persons naturalizing in 2009 spent a median of 7 years in legal permanent resident status before becoming citizens. Immigrants born in Africa, Asia, and South America spent the least time in legal immigrant status (6 years), followed by immigrants from Europe (7 years), Oceania (8 years), and North America (11 years). From 2008 to 2009, the median years spent in legal permanent resident status decreased by 2 years.

See the full report (including a number of tables/graphs) here: