How immigrant populations changed in U.S., California and Bay Area


People born in India are now the largest immigrant group in the Bay Area’s two biggest counties. Santa Clara and Alameda are now home to 250,000 residents who were born in India, enough to rank as the Bay Area’s fourth largest city. But how does that compare to the state and the country, and how has it changed?

In the interactive charts below, you can see how the immigrant population has shifted since 2010 in the two largest Bay Area counties, in California, and in the country as a whole, according to annual estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Mexico remains the most common birthplace of foreign-born residents in the state and the country, by a long shot, but with these charts you can see where other countries rank as the birthplace for those that come to the U.S.

United States

The number of Mexican-born residents in the country has been dropping every year since 2014, when it peaked at over 11.7 million. They remain the largest immigrant population in the country, now with 10.7 million residents of the United States born in Mexico.

The second largest group is from India, growing nationwide from 1.8 million in 2010 to 2.8 million in 2022.


Nearly four million Mexican-born residents live in California, more than a third of the country’s Mexican immigrants and the most in any state. The population has been shrinking over the past decade, from 4.3 million in 2010 to 3.8 million in 2022, still more than Texas which has the second-most residents born across the southern border, around 2.5 million.

The Golden State’s second-largest immigrant population is from the Philippines, followed by China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan). And the fourth largest group is from India, the country-of-birth that has moved the most on the scale, all the way from seventh in 2010.

Alameda County

In Alameda County in 2010 the largest group of immigrants was from Mexico, followed by China, and the Philippines. India came in fourth, with 48,000 Indian-born people calling Alameda county home, less than half of the Mexican-born population at the time. The next largest countries of birth were Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea and El Salvador.

In the 12 years since then the order has changed quite a bit. India has taken first place, while the number of residents born in Mexico and Vietnam have both dropped notably.

Guatemala made a big jump in the rankings, with just over 5,000 Guatemalan immigrants in 2010, tripling to 16,000 by 2022. Afghanistan is also among the top 15 countries of origin for Alameda County residents, the population more than doubling in that time.

Santa Clara County

The San Francisco Bay Area’s largest county has seen a similar shift in the first-place ranking, though the countries lower on the list are slightly different than in neighboring Alameda County. In 2010 there were over 93,000 Santa Clara County residents who were born in Vietnam, second to the 143,000 Mexican-born residents.


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