Undocumented Immigrants in Illinois

Most undocumented immigrants are counted in surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Also, undocumented immigrants are a large portion of certain populations of recently arrived immigrants.

Using these facts and a well-established method of proxying undocumented immigrants' characteristics, my colleague and I have developed estimates of certain characteristics of undocumented immigrants in Illinois. In the process, we also estimated populations and characteristics of naturalized immigrants and legal permanent residents.

This information presents new insight into the Illinois immigrant population. To date, little information has been available on the major immigration statuses held by the large foreign-born population in the state.

This work was commissioned by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and it builds off of work we have done for the Illinois Department of Human Services and other clients.

The map below displays our estimates of undocumented immigrant populations for Illinois counties, Metro Chicago townships and Chicago community areas.