According to 20-year old Gallup poll of those age 18+:

  • 7% of adults surveyed said they were an immigrant
  • 18% said one or more parents were immigrants (my wife’s Dad was born in Canada, for example)
  • 40% said one or more grandparents were immigrants (one of my wife’s grandparents was born in Canada)

Obviously, there is overlap in those groups. But the raw total suggests up to 65% of the U.S. population may have close immigrant ties.

Since the survey did not include those under 18, if children were included, this would be higher.

Further, since immigration has steadily increased over time, that too would increase the values from this 2001 survey.

1 out of 5 U.S. residents were born abroad or their parents were born abroad – Coldstreams Travel and Global Thinking

As is frequently said, the U.S. is primarily a nation of immigrants. It is critically important for American residents who lack international experience and knowledge to take steps to get that experience. You will be working with immigrants or managing an immigrant workforce, and if in a large organization, you may be managing work teams located outside the U.S. or even asked to work abroad.

I have to go back 3-4 generations to find immigrants – I have one set of great grandparents from Norway, and another set from Switzerland/Germany. Otherwise, much of my own U.S. ancestry dates back as far as being born in the US in 1635. This may explain my lack of international experience as we lacked contemporary immigrant connections.

Coldstreams Skeptic