Mexico, India, Philippines, Dominican Republic top country of origin for naturalized Americans
As America becomes more diverse, that is being reflected in the home countries of those choosing to become American citizens.
Nearly 800,000 people decided to become American citizens in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, 2013 — and more than a third of them came from Asia.
Asians comprised the biggest group of new Americans by region, according to recent data from the Department of Homeland Security, edging out those from North America, in which DHS includes those from Central America and the Caribbean.
In nine states, Indians made up the biggest group of naturalized citizens. Those from the Dominican Republic, who nationwide topped those from China for the first time in at least a decade, are the biggest group in five states, the DHS data show.
One of those states is New Jersey. For two years running, Dominicans have made up the biggest group of naturalizations each year, narrowly exceeding the number of Indians.
DHS counts 779,929 people who were naturalized across the U.S. in the 2013 fiscal year, up 3% from a year earlier but 25% fewer than the record 1,046,539 who were naturalized in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2008.
Asians were 275,700 of them, followed by the 271,807 from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Europeans, the biggest source of the immigration waves of a century ago, were 80,333 of the year’s naturalizations. By country, the biggest groups after Mexico are India, Philippines, Dominican Republic and China.
To become a naturalized American, an immigrant generally must have been a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least five years (three years if the spouse is American) and pass a citizenship exam.
Here’s the breakdown by state for the 2013 fiscal year.