-- As Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos is busy negotiating in strengthening and enhancing RP-US bilateral ties with Washington, the Federal government yesterday released data showing the Philippines ranks the second largest number of foreign born nationals that formed the American immigrant population.

The survey which was conducted in March, 1997 by the Census Bureau said that 25.8 million U.S. residents were born outside its borders, making up 9.7 percent of the population, a larger segment than at any point in the past five decades.

According to the report the proportion of the nation's
population born in foreign countries continues to climb, with immigrants accounting for nearly one-tenth of Americans last year with California leading the way with 24.9 percent, nearly one-quarter of its residents.

New York is second at 19.6 percent, followed by Florida, 16.4
percent, New Jersey, 15.4 percent; and Texas, 11.3 percent.

The Philippines account for 4.4 percent whose concentration are
in California, followed by Washington, in the West Coast and in New
York, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida in the East Coast. China and
Hongkong accounts for 4.3 percent.

The report said the more than 2 million Filipinos in the U.S.
can be seen in most States but most of them have chosen the golden state of California as their second home because of its weather and the offer of good work opportunity, it, being an agricultural and industrial state.

The bureau also said nearly one in three foreign-born residents
had become naturalized citizens.The agency figures underscored a continuing trend of greater immigration from Central and South America and the Caribbean, with the largest portion coming from Mexico.

More than 7 million residents for example, or 27 percent of the
foreign born population were from Mexico as against one in 4 was born in Asia, 1 in five was European.

Although immigration has risen steadily over the past two
decades, it remains below the level early this century, when a huge wave of Eastern Europeans arrived and immigrants made up nearly 15 percent of the population.

The bureau said the new figures are based on a survey conducted
by said office from all segments of the population including legal and
illegal immigrants, naturalized citizens, students and temporary

The survey also showed a slight increase over the 1996 figure,
when foreign-born residents made up 9.3 percent of the total population.However, the immigration levels have been a point of controversy in this country in recent years, centered on the question of how tightly the federal government should limit the number of foreign migrants allowed to move in the U.S.

Other profile of the survey include the following:

--one-third of foreign-born residents had become U.S. citizens
in March 1997.

--About one-fourth of foreign born-residents 25 and older had
completed four or more years of college education, about the same share
as native-born Americans. However, some 34.7 percent of the foreign
born residents had not finished high school, compared with 16 percent
native Americans.

--Unemployment was 8.4 percent for foreign-born non-citizens,
4.3 percent for foreign-born citizens and 5.4 percent of the

--the poverty rate was 26.8 percent for foreign born
non-citizens, 10.4 percent for foreign-born citizens and 12.9 percent
for the native-born.

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