Biggest sources of immigrants to California

Written by:
September 19, 2021
Kobby Dagan // Shutterstock

Biggest sources of immigrants to California

Nearly 14% of the United States population is composed of immigrants. But in reality, the vast majority of Americans today are here because of relatives who immigrated from other countries some time in the last several hundred years.

And while the distinctive American culture and spirit is the result of blending many diverse cultures and histories, the United States has for centuries had an up-and-down relationship with immigration.

Each era of immigration has been met with reductive ideas and resistance, whether the backlash was directed toward the Chinese, Irish, Italians, or Mexicans. Immigration laws have targeted specific groups at various times, stoking intolerance and preventing people from truly joining American society. Over time, however, as laws changed to be more equitable and immigrants found their footings, we have reaped the rewards of innovation in business, music, art, literature, dance, food, societal norms, entertainment, and sports—all while realizing a greater understanding of and respect for different cultures, religions, and ideas.

Stacker compiled a list of the biggest sources of immigrants to California using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Keep reading to find out more about the immigrant community in your home state.

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Pixabay

#50. Netherlands

California
- Number of residents: 17,375
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 85,161
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #69 most common country of origin

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Pixabay

#49. Turkey

California
- Number of residents: 18,501
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 119,380
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
- #54 most common country of origin

3 / 50
HandmadePictures // Shutterstock

#48. South Africa

California
- Number of residents: 19,549
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 104,022
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #56 most common country of origin

4 / 50
Michael Shade // Wikicommons

#47. Ecuador

California
- Number of residents: 21,442
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 438,474
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%
- #19 most common country of origin

5 / 50
Simon // Pixabay

#46. Australia

California
- Number of residents: 22,172
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 92,483
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #64 most common country of origin

6 / 50
Nahlik // Shutterstock

#45. Poland

California
- Number of residents: 22,481
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 410,841
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
- #21 most common country of origin

7 / 50
Augustin Lazaroiu // Shutterstock

#44. Romania

California
- Number of residents: 23,766
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 162,046
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #45 most common country of origin

8 / 50
neiljs // Flickr

#43. Ethiopia

California
- Number of residents: 24,458
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 249,777
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
- #34 most common country of origin

9 / 50
Pedro Szekely // Flickr

#42. Portugal

California
- Number of residents: 24,570
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 171,118
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #44 most common country of origin

10 / 50
Cheng Qian // Unsplash

#41. Burma

California
- Number of residents: 25,835
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%

National
- Number of residents: 147,573
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
- #47 most common country of origin

11 / 50
Bernard Gagnon // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Syria

California
- Number of residents: 27,641
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 95,802
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #63 most common country of origin

12 / 50
OpenUpEd // Flickr

#39. Nigeria

California
- Number of residents: 27,884
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 350,272
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
- #26 most common country of origin

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Unsplash

#38. Lebanon

California
- Number of residents: 30,718
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 121,697
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
- #52 most common country of origin

14 / 50
Pixabay

#37. Italy

California
- Number of residents: 31,116
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 332,857
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
- #30 most common country of origin

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Wikimedia Commons

#36. Israel

California
- Number of residents: 33,224
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 135,672
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
- #50 most common country of origin

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Falkenpost // Pixabay

#35. Cuba

California
- Number of residents: 33,379
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 1,289,875
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.9%
- #7 most common country of origin

17 / 50
Evgeniya Uvarova // Shutterstock

#34. Argentina

California
- Number of residents: 34,972
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 194,435
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #39 most common country of origin

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Prin Adulyatham // Shutterstock

#33. Egypt

California
- Number of residents: 36,571
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 191,452
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #40 most common country of origin

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Maksym Kozlenko // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Fiji

California
- Number of residents: 36,708
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%

National
- Number of residents: 47,004
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.1%
- #86 most common country of origin

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Creativa Images // Shutterstock

#31. Indonesia

California
- Number of residents: 39,827
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 96,229
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #62 most common country of origin

21 / 50
Tupungato // Shutterstock

#30. France

California
- Number of residents: 41,041
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 181,554
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #41 most common country of origin

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Michal Knitl // Shutterstock

#29. Afghanistan

California
- Number of residents: 41,596
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 101,548
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #59 most common country of origin

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USACE HQ , JIM GORDAN, CIV, USACE // Wikicommons

#28. Iraq

California
- Number of residents: 43,767
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 225,038
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%
- #38 most common country of origin

24 / 50
Catarina Belova // Shutterstock

#27. Brazil

California
- Number of residents: 45,738
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 433,479
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%
- #20 most common country of origin

25 / 50
Alexander Canas Arango // Shutterstock

#26. Colombia

California
- Number of residents: 46,851
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%

National
- Number of residents: 761,374
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.7%
- #12 most common country of origin

26 / 50
Saqib Rizvi // Shutterstock

#25. Pakistan

California
- Number of residents: 50,070
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%

National
- Number of residents: 376,127
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
- #25 most common country of origin

27 / 50
Pascal Müller // Unsplash

#24. Laos

California
- Number of residents: 50,375
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%

National
- Number of residents: 181,546
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.4%
- #42 most common country of origin

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Vannrith Va // Unsplash

#23. Cambodia

California
- Number of residents: 52,984
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%

National
- Number of residents: 151,066
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.3%
- #46 most common country of origin

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Unsplash

#22. Ukraine

California
- Number of residents: 56,119
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%

National
- Number of residents: 345,250
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
- #28 most common country of origin

30 / 50
Marek Poplawski // Shutterstock

#21. Honduras

California
- Number of residents: 61,934
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%

National
- Number of residents: 651,123
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.5%
- #16 most common country of origin

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Elena Simona Craciun // Shutterstock

#20. Nicaragua

California
- Number of residents: 62,317
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%

National
- Number of residents: 251,913
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
- #33 most common country of origin

32 / 50
Jack Bkk // Shutterstock

#19. Thailand

California
- Number of residents: 67,699
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%

National
- Number of residents: 255,345
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%
- #32 most common country of origin

33 / 50
Viacheslav Lopatin // Shutterstock

#18. Russia

California
- Number of residents: 67,710
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.6%

National
- Number of residents: 391,641
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
- #22 most common country of origin

34 / 50
Spetsnaz1991 // Wikicommons

#17. Armenia

California
- Number of residents: 71,559
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
- Number of residents: 86,804
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.2%
- #68 most common country of origin

35 / 50
Christian Vinces // Shutterstock

#16. Peru

California
- Number of residents: 72,619
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
- Number of residents: 451,076
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%
- #18 most common country of origin

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Max Pixel

#15. Germany

California
- Number of residents: 76,353
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.7%

National
- Number of residents: 560,368
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.3%
- #17 most common country of origin

37 / 50
Diego Delso // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hong Kong

California
- Number of residents: 103,152
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%

National
- Number of residents: 231,275
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.5%
- #36 most common country of origin

38 / 50
Unsplash

#13. Japan

California
- Number of residents: 106,436
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.0%

National
- Number of residents: 345,140
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.8%
- #29 most common country of origin

39 / 50
User:Colin // Wikimedia Commons

#12. United Kingdom

California
- Number of residents: 128,902
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.2%

National
- Number of residents: 698,612
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.6%
- #14 most common country of origin

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Unsplash

#11. Canada

California
- Number of residents: 129,491
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.2%

National
- Number of residents: 808,566
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.8%
- #11 most common country of origin

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PIxabay

#10. Taiwan

California
- Number of residents: 180,595
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.7%

National
- Number of residents: 381,098
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
- #24 most common country of origin

42 / 50
Ninara // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Iran

California
- Number of residents: 206,245
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.0%

National
- Number of residents: 382,260
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.9%
- #23 most common country of origin

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Kobby Dagan // Shutterstock

#8. Guatemala

California
- Number of residents: 281,344
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.7%

National
- Number of residents: 979,098
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.2%
- #10 most common country of origin

44 / 50
Kys951 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. South Korea

California
- Number of residents: 317,966
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.0%

National
- Number of residents: 1,044,634
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.4%
- #9 most common country of origin

45 / 50
JMRAFFi // Wikimedia Commons

#6. El Salvador

California
- Number of residents: 438,296
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.2%

National
- Number of residents: 1,381,008
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.1%
- #5 most common country of origin

46 / 50
Kriangkrai Thitimakorn // Shutterstock

#5. India

California
- Number of residents: 505,205
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.8%

National
- Number of residents: 2,561,906
- Percent of foreign born residents: 5.8%
- #2 most common country of origin

47 / 50
Quangpraha // Pixabay

#4. Vietnam

California
- Number of residents: 519,024
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.9%

National
- Number of residents: 1,336,988
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.0%
- #6 most common country of origin

48 / 50
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#3. China

California
- Number of residents: 663,383
- Percent of foreign born residents: 6.3%

National
- Number of residents: 2,162,395
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.9%
- #3 most common country of origin

49 / 50
Joseph Oropel // Shutterstock

#2. Philippines

California
- Number of residents: 844,794
- Percent of foreign born residents: 8.0%

National
- Number of residents: 1,983,939
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.5%
- #4 most common country of origin

50 / 50
Arturo Chavez // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Mexico

California
- Number of residents: 4,076,121
- Percent of foreign born residents: 38.6%

National
- Number of residents: 11,250,541
- Percent of foreign born residents: 25.6%
- #1 most common country of origin

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