A new statewide report provides a snapshot of San Diego County’s immigrant population.

According to data released this week by the California Immigrant Policy Center, immigrants make up almost one quarter (23 percent) of San Diego County’s residents.

That totals about 675,000 immigrant residents. Forty-five percent of those, according to the report, are U.S. citizens. A majority of those who are not U.S. citizens — 71 percent — live in a household with at least one U.S. citizen.

Counted with their children, immigrants make up 35 percent of the county’s population. They make up 27 percent of its labor force.

Of all the children in San Diego County, according to the report, 43 percent of them have at least one immigrant parent.

The report also breaks down which local occupations are dominated by immigrants. Among them:

  • Agricultural workers and animal breeders: 79 percent
  • Maids and housekeeping cleaners: 86 percent
  • Laundry and dry cleaning workers: 76 percent
  • Electrical and electromechanical assemblers: 77 percent
  • Cooks: 67 percent

Immigrants, the report states, contribute 25 percent of the region’s gross domestic product. In the next five years, naturalized citizens will make up 16 percent of the voting-age population.

Here’s a breakdown of where San Diego’s immigrants come from:

  • Africa: 2.1 percent
  • Asia: 32.9 percent
  • Europe: 8.2 Percent
  • Latin American: 54 percent
  • Oceania: 0.5 percent
  • Northern America: 2.2 percent

They speak at least 86 languages.

Over the summer, a report by the California Public Policy Institute found that fewer the United States’ new immigrants are choosing to settle in California, as they identify greater economic opportunity in other states.


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