A Breakdown of Georgia’s Immigration Numbers

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: March 09, 2023.

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Georgia’s Immigrant Population

Georgia is home to a large and diverse immigrant population. In 2018, there were 1.1 million immigrants in Georgia, which was ten percent of Georgia’s total population.

The number of immigrants has significantly impacted the State’s economy and contributed to Georgia’s overall prosperity. Seven percent of residents have at least one immigrant parent, while more than two in five immigrants in Georgia are naturalized U.S. citizens.

If you are considering moving to Georgia, you might be interested in knowing its demographics. Additionally, you can identify potential markets and labor opportunities for your business by understanding Georgia’s immigration numbers.

This article outlines the immigration numbers for Georgia. If you have any questions about immigration laws and the process, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.


The Recent Past

Georgia’s immigration landscape has changed significantly since 1970. Foreign-born residents of Georgia accounted for approximately 33,000 of the total state population in 1970.

In 1970, the Georgia population of foreign-born immigrants numbered approximately 33,000, or 0.7 percent of the state’s population. By 2013, the number of foreign-born immigrants had risen to more than 970,000, or 9.7 percent.

Data from the Census Bureau reports that Georgia had 10,711,908 people in 2020, up 1,024,255 in ten years, making it one of the five states with the largest immigrant population growth.

Various factors, including changes in immigration law and increased economic opportunities, have driven this growth.

National Population Changes and Immigration

Georgia’s immigrant population has been part of a more significant trend of immigration growth in the United States generally.

The Center for Immigration Studies reveals that between 1970 and 1995, the population in the U.S. grew from 203,000,000 to 263,200,000. During the same period, the numbers in Georgia increased from 4 588 000 to 7 120 000. Based on these numbers, Georgia outgrew the U.S. percentage growth figures with a percentage growth of 55,2% compared to the U.S. growth percentage of 29.6%.

During 1970-1990, Georgia’s foreign-born population outgrew that of the US, going from 33 000 to 173 100 compared to 9 619 000 to 19 800 000 in the US. Overall percentage growth was 424.5% in Georgia and 105.8% in the US.

Immigrant Origin Numbers in Georgia and the United States


Immigrants from Mexico, India, and China comprise the largest group in the United States. Most new immigrants come from Latin America and Central America. The majority of foreign-born residents in Georgia are from Latin American countries, with Mexico being the most common.

According to the American Immigration Council, twenty-two percent of immigrants in Georgia were Mexican, nine percent were Indian, four percent were Jamaican, four percent Korean, and four percent were Guatemalan.

In August 2020, the Pew Research Center published that Mexicans accounted for approximately 11.2 million immigrants in the U.S. (25% of the total immigrant population in the U.S.), followed by China at six percent, India at six percent, the Philippines at four percent and El Salvador at three percent.


Illegal Immigration in Georgia

Like many states, Georgia has been affected by the issue of illegal immigration. According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. foreign-born population numbered 44.8 million in 2018.

Additionally, an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, and Georgia is home to 400 000 of them.

Refugee Resettlement in Georgia

Georgia’s growing foreign-born population can also be attributed to the influx of refugees in the State.

According to the American Immigration Council, 400,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 36 percent of the immigrant population. They also made up 4 percent of the total state population in 2016.

In August 2022, Atlanta News First extrapolated data from the Refugee Processing Center to show refugee origins in Georgia as follows:

  1. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 43
  2. Burma: 17
  3. Syria: 8
  4. Eritrea: 7
  5. Ukraine: 6
  6. Guatemala: 6
  7. Honduras: 4
  8. Ethiopia: 2
  9. Somalia: 2

Impact of Immigrants’ Labour Distribution in Georgia

Georgia’s immigrant population’s growth has significantly impacted the state’s labor force. According to the American Immigration Council, the foreign-born immigrant population of 1,023,717 makes up ten percent of Georgia’s labor force. Additionally, immigrants account for one-quarter of all fisher, forester, farmer, as well as computer and math science employees.

An estimated third of Georgia’s immigrant population is highly educated, with a college degree or higher. However, a quarter of Georgia’s immigrant population has less than a high school diploma.

Nevertheless, Georgia’s labor force contained 13 percent of immigrants in 2018, concentrated in manufacturing, construction, retail, health care, and accommodation.

Despite illegal immigration’s significant contributions to the State’s economy and resources, some people are concerned about its impact on its economy and resources.

Demographic change is cited as one of the negative impacts of immigration by those opposed to it. However, immigration supporters argue that immigrants’ contributions to Georgia outweigh such criticisms.

Impact on State and Local Taxes

The immigrant population in Georgia contributes significantly to the State’s tax base in terms of state and local taxes.

According to the American Immigration Council, immigrants in Georgia pay an estimated $2.2 billion in state and local taxes each year, which helps to support the State’s public services and infrastructure. An additional $4 700 000 000 is made as a contribution by immigration Georgia to Federal government taxes.

The same report highlights that one-fifth of self-employed business owners in Georgia are immigrants, generating revenues of $1 772 400 000 per annum.


The Importance of Naturalization for Immigrants in Georgia

Naturalization is when an individual becomes a U.S. citizen after meeting specific eligibility requirements. Naturalized citizens enjoy all the rights and privileges of native-born citizens, including the right to vote, bringing family members to the United States, and protection from deportation.

The National Partnership for New Americans released a report in 2020 revealing that Georgia had become home to nearly 96,469 newly naturalized Americans since 2016.

Ask Manji Law About Immigration

The right resources and guidance are crucial to a successful legal immigration process. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal services to our clients. We also assist individuals and businesses in navigating the myriad rules and regulations associated with U.S. and international immigration.

Our services include visa applications, green card processing, deportation representation, change of immigration status, and more. We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and personalized legal solutions tailored to each client’s needs.

We understand that the immigration process often carries tremendous stress and uncertainty. That’s why we strive to provide all our clients with the highest care and dedication.

Contact us today, and let us help you reach your dreams! We look forward to hearing from you!