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Illegal immigrants: Which states have lost the most?

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The Pew researchers estimate these states to have seen the largest declines in unauthorized immigrant population in 2008 and 2009:

  1. Florida: 675,000 illegal residents, down by 375,000.
  2. New York: 650,000 illegal residents, down by 150,000.
  3. Arizona: 375,000 illegal residents, down by 100,000.
  4. New Jersey: 475,000 illegal residents, down by 100,000.
  5. California: 2,550,000 illegal residents, down by 100,000.

Several states next on the list are also fast-growing Southern or mountain states that were hit hard by the real estate slowdown: Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado.

In Texas, a state with many unauthorized immigrants that was not so hard hit by the downturn, the total number of illegal residents has not declined, Pew estimates.

Why are they leaving?

The Pew report merely represents an estimate, not a definitive count for the nation or any one state. But its nationwide conclusion is similar to estimates by other groups.

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