Immigrant Stories from the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD Metro Areas and Beyond

The Immigrant Stories Project

The Immigrant Stories Project aims to provide essential and relevant information about immigrant population by combining data and personal stories. Our aim is to provide rich data about various immigrant groups through: fact sheets on immigrants’ contributions in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas and beyond; interviews conducted with immigrants; and a statistical analysis for each immigrant group. This mixed methods approach provides both a more comprehensive picture of the realities faced by immigrants and a broader view of immigrants’ vital economic and societal contributions to the metro area and to the United States as a whole.

Additional groups will be added in the future.

Immigrants in the DC-Baltimore Metro Area

  • 1,659,351 immigrants live in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metropolitan area. They constitute 19% of the total population.
  • The majority of the foreign born arrived in the region between 2000 and 2015.
  • 52% are females and 48% are males.
  • El Salvador, India, Korea, China, and the Philippines are the top 5 countries of birth.
  • 43% of the foreign-born population have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 95% are employed.
  • The top 3 occupations are management occupations (10%), construction occupations (9%), and office and administrative occupations (8%).

Explore Immigrant Stories by Industry and Country of Origin below.

Immigrant Stories from "Essential Workers" by Industry

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, workers in certain industries in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland metro areas have been critical to keeping the area's residents healthy and safe, and keeping the economy open. Many of these "essential workers" are foreign born. In fact, immigrant workers have been important during the pandemic, and will continue to play a key role in rebuilding the economy post-pandemic. ​
The IIR examined the essential industries in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas and created Immigrant Stories for five industrial categories with the highest numbers of foreign-born workers:

These categories were created based on information from the Migration Policy Institute as well as the Executive Orders issued by the Governors of Virginia and Maryland and the Mayor of Washington, DC at the beginning of the public health emergency.
The Essential Worker Immigrant Stories include fact sheets and analysis of the data on foreign-born essential workers in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas as well as interviews with immigrant workers.
The data is from the American Community Survey 2014-2018 5-year dataset.

Immigrant Stories from Beyond the DC-Baltimore Metro Areas