Washington(PTI): Indians were the second largest group of foreigners who obtained American citizenship in 2011, according to an official report.
After Mexico, India in 2011 was the second leading country of birth of new citizenship in the United States, the report released by the Department of Homeland Security said.
In 2011, as many as 694,193 persons obtained American citizenship.
The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (94,783), India (45,985), the Philippines (42,520), China (32,864) and Colombia (22,693), the report said.
The largest number of persons naturalising lived in California (151,183), Florida (87,309) and New York (76,603), it said.
Even though India retained its second spot, in actual figures the number of Indians who obtained American citizenship dropped over the past two years.
In 2012, as many as 61,142 Indians were naturalised, while in 2009 the figure was 52,889.
According to the report, 36 per cent of persons naturalising in 2011 were born in Asia, followed by 31 per cent from North America and 12 per cent from Europe.
Mexico was the leading country of birth of persons naturalising in 2011 (14 per cent).
The next leading countries of origin of new citizens in 2011 were India (6.6 per cent), the Philippines (6.1 per cent), the People’s Republic of China (4.7 per cent) and Colombia (3.3 per cent).
The 10 countries with the largest number of naturalisations accounted for 48 per cent of all new citizens in 2011.
“From 2010 to 2011, the number of naturalisations increased among immigrants from all regions except Asia.
The decrease in naturalisations of Asian-born persons during this period is partly due to a decline in the number of naturalisations of persons born in India and the People’s Republic of China who were granted LPR status under employment-based preference categories,” the report said.
The Department of Homeland Security said, until the 1970s, the majority of persons naturalising were born in European countries.
The regional origin of new citizens shifted from Europe to Asia due to increased legal immigration from Asian countries, the arrival of Indochinese refugees in the 1970s and the historically higher naturalisation rate of Asian immigrants.
Consequently, Asia has been the leading region of origin of new citizens in most years since 1976, it said.