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Venezuelan Immigrants in the United States

Authors: Luis Hassan Gallardo and Jeanne Batalova

Affiliation: Migration Policy Institute

Organization/Publisher: Migration Policy Institute

Date/Place: April 10, 2020/ Washington DC, USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count:  2181


Keywords: United States, South America, Venezuelan Immigrants


The authors start with the fact that Venezuela’s unstable politics and economy have led to a rise in immigration to the US, which has tripled since the beginning of the 21st century. By 2018 Venezuelans were the fifth largest South American immigrant population in the U.S. with a total number of 394,000. Nonetheless, the top destination for Venezuelan migrants and refugees is Colombia, which accommodates 36 percent of the 5.1 million Venezuelans who live outside of Venezuela (April 2020).  In terms of the geographic location within the US in 2018, the authors list the distribution of the Venezuelan immigrant community as the following: 53 percent in Florida and 12 percent in Texas.  Further, Miami, Broward, Orange County and Harris County are among the top four counties in Florida, accounting for 45 percent of Venezuelan immigrants in the U.S.  In comparison to other foreign-born populations in the US, Venezuelans tend to have a higher educational background (57 percent hold a bachelor’s degree in 2018) but are less likely to be proficient in English. Obtaining green cards easily (because of having relatives with U.S. citizenship) and participating in the country’s labor force at a much higher rate than the overall immigrant and native-born populations, did not change the fact that the median household income of Venezuelan immigrants is lower than the overall foreign- and native-born populations ($56,000 compared to $60,000 – $62,000). The authors further present a detailed statistical insight regarding Naturalization, Health Coverage and Remittances.

By: Dilek Yücel-Kamadan, CIGA Research Associate



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