Naturalization Rate

Indian Americans are among the biggest gainers in the increase in naturalization rates in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center study. (PewResearch.org photo)

A recently released study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that the naturalization rate among U.S. immigrants is up since 2005, with Indian Americans among the biggest gainers.

The study looked at naturalization rates among immigrant groups in the U.S. from 2005 to 2015.

The percentage of Indian immigrants who were eligible for U.S. citizenship who have become naturalized citizens went up 12 points from 2005 to 2015.

In 2005, it was 68 percent. In 2015, it was up to 80 percent. That gap increased the same amount as that of Ecuador. No other country on the list had more than a 9 percent increase.

This is a bigger increase than for U.S. immigrants overall, among whom naturalization rates jumped from 62 percent in 2005 to 67 percent in 2015, Pew said.

The naturalization rates in the analysis are cumulative, showing, in any given year, the percentage of immigrants living in the U.S. and eligible for U.S. citizenship who have ever become naturalized and gained citizenship, it said.

To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, immigrants must be age 18 or older, have resided in the U.S. for at least five years as lawful permanent residents, and be in good standing with the law, among other requirements.

The U.S. government denied nearly 1 million naturalization applications from 2005 to 2015, or 11 percent of the 8.5 million applications filed during this time, the study also revealed.

The roughly 19.8 million naturalized citizens in 2015 made up about 44 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population, it added.

Another roughly 11.9 million immigrants were lawful permanent residents, among whom an estimated 9.3 million were eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.

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