DHS Annual Flow Report on Naturalization Statistics for FY-2015

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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In November of 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its Annual Flow Report for naturalizations in Fiscal Year 2015 [PDF version].1 The PDF contains many charts and interesting data, and is well-worth reading in full. In this article, we will examine the Flow Report's data on the countries of birth of those naturalized in FY-2015. We will also assess the median time (in years) that individuals naturalized in FY-2015 spent in lawful permanent resident status (LPR) prior to naturalization.

Please see my blog posts about the Annual Flow Reports on nonimmigrants [see blog] and on refugees and asylees [see blog].

Persons Naturalized by Region and Country of Birth

In FY-2015, 730,259 individuals were naturalized in the United States. This represented a marked increase from FY-2014 (653,416), but a decrease from FY-2013 (779,929). In FY-2015, 261,374 of the individuals were from Asia, and 247,492 were from North America. Asia and North America combined to make up 69.7% of all of the naturalizations in FY-2015.

The following is the list of the top 20 countries of birth of individuals naturalized in FY-2015 (by percent of the total):

  1. Mexico (14.5%)
  2. India (5.8%)
  3. Philippines (5.6%)
  4. People's Republic of China (4.3%)
  5. Dominican Republic (3.7%)
  6. Cuba (3.5%)
  7. Vietnam (3.0%)
  8. Colombia (2.4%)
  9. El Salvador (2.3%)
  10. Jamaica (2.3%)
  11. Iraq (2.0%)
  12. South Korea (1.9%)
  13. Haiti (1.9%)
  14. Pakistan (1.6%)
  15. Peru (1.5%)
  16. Brazil (1.4%)
  17. Nigeria (1.4%)
  18. Iran (1.4%)
  19. United Kingdom (1.4%)
  20. Bangladesh (1.4%)

These top 20 countries made up 63.3% of the total, meaning that the remaining 36.7% was comprised of other countries. Interestingly, these same 20 countries also constituted 63.3% of the total number of naturalizations in FY-2014 (although individual countries made up different percentages).

Median Years in LPR Status Prior to Naturalization by Region of Birth and Year of Naturalization

The Annual Flow Report contains data going back to FY-2006 for the median number of years that persons who procured naturalization in each year spent in LPR status prior to naturalization. Furthermore, the Annual Flow Report breaks this down by region of birth.

For individuals who were naturalized in FY-2015, the median number of years spent in LPR status prior to naturalization was 7. The following list shows the median number of years for persons naturalized in each year going back to 2006:

  • 2015 - 7
  • 2014 - 7
  • 2013 - 7
  • 2012 - 7
  • 2011 - 6
  • 2010 - 6
  • 2009 - 7
  • 2008 - 9
  • 2007 - 8
  • 2006 - 7

The following list shows the median number of years by region of birth for FY-2015:

  • Africa - 6
  • Asia - 6
  • Europe - 9
  • North America - 10
  • Oceania - 9
  • South America - 7

One interesting note is that the median number of years spent in LPR status for individuals from Europe who procure naturalization hit a new high in 2015. From FY-2006-2013, the median number was either 6 or 7. However, in FY-2014, the median number of years climbed to 8, and in FY-2015 it reached 9 for the first time. The median number of years for individuals from North America has been at least 10 for each year in the Annual Flow Report, and no other region has had reached 10 in any individual year.

Conclusion

In FY-2015, 15.6% of all individuals who were naturalized lived in the New York-Newark-Jersey City Metropolitan Area. With 113,758 naturalizations, the NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Area was the leading Metropolitan Area of residence for people seeking naturalization. Please see our website's section on Citizenship and Naturalization to learn about how to apply for naturalization, the requirements for naturalization, and other issues in the naturalization process [see category].

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  1. Wistman, Katherine and Ryan Baugh, “U.S. Naturalizations: 2015,” dhs.gov, (Nov. 2016)