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U.S. immigrants' origins shifting, along with religious affiliations

May 17, 2013 at 4:01 PM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- A growing percentage of U.S. immigrants are coming from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region and immigrants are increasingly Muslim and Hindu, a study found.

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life analysis of U.S. government data on immigration, released Friday, found 53 percent of new green card recipients in 2012 came from the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East-North Africa region or sub-Saharan Africa -- up from 41 percent in 1992. The survey found 47 percent of legal immigrants in 2012 came from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean or North America -- down from 59 percent in 1992.

Christians accounted for 61 percent of legal immigrants in 2012, down from 68 percent in 1992 while about 25 percent of legal immigrants in 2012 belong to religious minorities, up from about 20 percent in 1992.

The percentage of Muslims in 2012 was 10 percent, up from 5 percent in 1992 and the percentage of Hindus rose from 3 percent in 1992 to 7 percent last year.

The analysis found 83 percent of unauthorized immigrants are Christian. Undocumented immigrants come primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean, the study found.

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