In 2012, a total of 757,434 persons naturalized. The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (102,181), the Philippines (44,958), India (42,928), the Dominican Republic (33,351), and the People’s Republic of China (31,868). The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (158,850), Florida (100,890), and New York (93,584). The number of U.S. naturalizations increased to 757,434 in 2012 from 694,193 in 2011 and 619,913 in 2010. These increases were consistent with the growing number of naturalization applications filed and processed during 2010–2012.
The average annual number of persons naturalizing increased from less than 120,000 during the 1950s and 1960s to 210,000 during the 1980s, 500,000 during the 1990s, and to 680,000 between 2000 and 2009 (see Figure 1). Until the 1970s, the majority ofpersons naturalizing were born in European countries. The regional origin of new citizens shifted from Europe to Asia due to increased legal immigration from Asian countries, the arrival of Indochinese refugees in the 1970s, and the historically higher naturalization rate of Asian immigrants. Consequently, Asia has been the leading region of origin of new citizens in most years since 1976
Region and Leading Countries of Birth
Thirty-five percent of persons naturalizing in 2012 were born in North America, followed by 34 percent from Asia and 11 percent from Europe (see Table 1). Mexico was the leading country of birth of persons naturalizing in 2012 (14 percent). The next leading countries of origin of new citizens in 2012 were the Philippines (5.9 percent), India (5.7 percent), the Dominican Republic (4.4 percent), and the People’s Republic of China (4.2 percent). The 10 countries with the largest number of naturalizations accounted for 49 percent of all new citizens in 2012.
From 2011 to 2012, the number of naturalizations increased the most for immigrants from North America. Among leading countries of origin, the largest increase in naturalizations during this period—in absolute and percentage terms—occurred among persons born in the Dominican Republic (12,843 or 63 percent) and Cuba (10,173 or 48 percent). In addition, the number of naturalizations of immigrants born in India and the People’s Republic of China decreased for two consecutive years from 2010 to 2012 partly due to a decline in the number of naturalizations of persons from these countries who were granted LPR status under employment-based preference categories. Source: JAMES LEE - www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_natz_fr_2012.pdf
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