November 30, 2022

Venezuelans in the United States: how many are there? Where are they?

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(CNN Spanish) — The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has forced more and more citizens of that country to look for a new place to live, like the United States.

In early September, the United Nations (UN) reported that there are around 6.8 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants scattered around the world, a figure similar to the 6.8 million refugees from Ukraine and the 6.6 million refugees from Syria, countries where there are wars.

The Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants (R4V) reports the same figure as the UN: there are 6,805,209 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the world, according to figures updated to August 2022.

The R4V details that most of the more than 6.8 million Venezuelans in the world are in the Latin American and Caribbean region (more than 5.7 million). However, other organizations point out that the desire to reach the United States among this population has increased lately.

Deteriorating economic conditions, food shortages and limited access to health care continue to push Venezuelans to leave their country, and a growing Venezuelan community in the US also represents a draw, Doris Meissner previously told CNNwho directs US immigration policy work at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

How many Venezuelans are there in the United States?

Figures prior to 2022

The R4V indicates that, of the more than 6.8 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the world, 465,200 they were in the United States. However, this figure was updated to 2019.

For its part, the international migrant population statistics of the UN indicate that, until the middle of 2020, there were 505,647 Venezuelans in the United States. This seems to be the most up-to-date figure available, since it is the same as that of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) included in its “World Migration Report 2022“.

2022 figures

Now, the increase in Venezuelans arriving in the United States is reflected in the arrests (or “encounters”, as they are called in English statistics) carried out by US authorities on the southern, northern and, in general, throughout the territory.

Of January to July 2021, the Office of Customs and Border Protection of the United States (CBP, for its acronym in English) registered 32,102 “encounters” with Venezuelans. In the same period in 2022, the figure skyrocketed to 71,022 encounters, representing an annual increase of 121%. July is the most recent monthly figure for this year that is available from the CPB.

So far in 2022, the month with the highest number of encounters with Venezuelans in the United States was January with a total of 22,884. In February, March and April, encounters dipped to fewer than 5,000 each month. However, in May they again exceeded 5,000, and in June and July they were more than 13,000 and 17,000, respectively.

Where are they?

Of the total encounters between January and July 2022, the CBP records that the majority occurred in Texas, with more than 52,000, and in Arizona with almost 17,000. Here are the agency figures by state.

  • Texas: 52,203 games
  • Arizona: 16,953
  • California: 897
  • Virgin Islands: 241
  • Florida: 231
  • Puerto Rico: 202
  • New York: 111
  • MD: 41
  • Illinois:23
  • Georgia: 22
  • Washington: 22
  • New Mexico: 16
  • Michigan: 12
  • Snowfall: 10
  • Washington City: 9
  • Maine: 9
  • Pennsylvania: 2
  • South Carolina: 3
  • Louisiana: 4
  • New Jersey: 3
  • Vermont: 3
  • Virginia: 2
  • Hawaii: 1
  • Minnesota: 1
  • Montana: 1

With information from Priscilla Alvarez, from CNN.

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