Despite concerns that the undocumented immigrant population in Texas is growing, it has remained stable in recent years. In fact, more than half of the state's undocumented immigrants have lived in Texas for more than 10 years, according to data released this month from the Migration Policy Institute.

“I don’t think there’s much data that I’ve seen to suggest that we’re being overrun by undocumented immigrants,” said Steve Murdock, a former state demographer and former U.S. Census Bureau director.

Texas continues to have the second-largest undocumented immigrant population in the country — about 1.5 million people — behind California, which has twice as many undocumented immigrants as Texas.

Use these interactives to explore the years of residency and ages of the undocumented immigrants living in the Texas counties with the largest undocumented immigrant populations.

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*Montgomery listings include Chambers and Liberty counties.


Jeanne Batalova, a demographer and senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said Texas’ undocumented immigrant population was unique in two ways. A large majority — 80 percent — was born in Mexico, making them more likely to be settled in their communities and more likely to have children born in the United States, Batalova said. Only 58 percent of undocumented immigrants nationwide were born in Mexico.

Additionally, the rate of undocumented immigrants who are homeowners is higher in Texas compared with the rest of the country — 42 percent of undocumented immigrants in Texas "reside in homes that are owned, not rented" compared with 31 percent nationwide. 

The uninsured rate among Texas' undocumented immigrants is also higher than the national rate — 75 percent of the undocumented living in Texas are uninsured versus 63 percent nationwide.

Use this interactive map to explore the demographics of the Texas counties with the largest undocumented immigrant populations.

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The educational attainment among this group varies widely from county to county. Overall, only 8 percent of Texas’ undocumented immigrants completed college or obtained a graduate degree.

But that percentage is higher in Fort Bend and Collin counties, where 20 and 22 percent of the undocumented have a college degree. Batalova attributed this to the makeup of the undocumented population in these counties. At least a fifth of the undocumented in Fort Bend and Collin counties were born in Asia — a much higher rate than in Texas overall, where Asian-born undocumented immigrants only make up 6 percent of the undocumented population.

Use this interactive to explore the level of education of undocumented immigrants in the Texas counties with the largest undocumented populations.

Disclosure: Steve Murdock is a donor to The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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