Unaccompanied Immigrant Children - Demographic Data
Research on the Unauthorized Minors Arriving at US Border Crossings


Between Oct. 2010 and Sep. 2015, the US Border Patrol apprehended 206,669 unaccompanied immigrant children crossing into the United States, with over 56% of the children crossing via the Rio Grande Valley station in Edinburg, Texas. Over 92% of the children were from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. About 72% of the children were male, and approximately 72% were 15 to 17 years old.
Unaccompanied immigrant children, also referred to as unaccompanied alien children by some government agencies, are children up to 17 years old who have attempted to cross into the United States illegally without an adult. Primarily from Central America and arriving though the US/Mexico border, children who are apprehended by US Border Patrol are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is an office of the Department of Health and Human Services. ORR releases the children to sponsors, preferably a parent, legal guardian, or another adult family member in the United States, and arranges legal representation while the children await immigration proceedings.

The data below, from the ORR and the US Border Patrol, are calculated by fiscal years, which run from October to September.
I. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Age

II. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Gender

III. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Country of Origin

IV. Apprehension of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Border and Border Patrol Station

V. US State to which Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Were Released to Sponsors
I. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Age
Note: This graphic averages the percentages from 2011-2015.
Age 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
0-12 11% 11% 14% 21% 17%
13-14 10% 11% 13% 16% 14%
15-16 38% 39% 40% 36% 38%
17 40% 38% 34% 27% 30%


II. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Gender
Note: This graphic averages the percentages from 2012-2015.
Gender 2012 2013 2014 2015
Female 23% 27% 34% 32%
Male 77% 73% 66% 68%


III. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Country of Origin: Where They Come From
Note: This graphic averages the percentages from 2012-2015.
Country of Origin 2012 2013 2014 2015
El Salvador 27% 26% 29% 29%
Guatemala 34% 37% 32% 45%
Honduras 27% 30% 34% 17%
Mexico 8% 3% <2% 6%
All Other Countries 4% 5% <3% 3%

IV. Apprehension of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by Border and Border Patrol Station

Border &
Border Patrol Station
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total
Coastal Border Total 89 42 28 44 65 51 319
Miami, FL 57 27 18 28 28 20 178
New Orleans, LA 28 14 5 11 21 26 105
Ramey in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico 4 1 5 5 16 5 36
Northern Border Total 122 76 50 30 25 14 317
Blaine, WA 14 8 12 8 3 2 47
Buffalo, NY 46 25 18 5 7 2 103
Detroit, MI 33 21 10 6 1 4 75
Grand Forks, ND 14 7 2 4 4 3 34
Havre, MT 3 3 0 0 1 0 7
Houlton, ME 0 0 1 0 0 1 2
Spokane, WA 2 3 2 3 2 0 12
Swanton, VT 10 9 5 4 7 2 37
Southwest Border Total 18,411 15,949 24,403 38,759 68,541 39,970 206,033
Big Bend National Park, TX 197 189 168 125 256 839 1,744
Del Rio, TX 1,014 1,113 1,618 2,135 3,268 2,285 11,433
El Centro in Imperial, CA 448 457 498 434 662 668 3,167
El Paso, TX 1,011 697 659 744 1,029 1,662 5,802
Laredo, TX 1,570 1,608 2,658 3,795 3,800 2,459 15,890
Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX 4,977 5,236 10,759 21,553 49,959 23,864 116,348
San Diego in Chula Vista, CA 980 549 524 656 954 1,084 4,747
Tucson, AZ 7,998 5,878 7,239 9,070 8,262 6,019 44,466
Yuma, AZ 216 222 280 247 351 1,090 2,406
Total 18,622 16,067 24,481 38,833 68,631 40,035 206,669

V. US State to which Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Were Released to Sponsors: Where They End Up

  Total Number of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Released
State 2014 2015
Total 53,515 27,520
Alabama 786 813
Alaska 4 2
Arizona 295 169
Arkansas 307 184
California 5,831 3,576
Colorado 426 242
Connecticut 552 207
Delaware 212 145
DC 375 198
Florida 5,445 2,885
Georgia 2,047 1,028
Hawaii 8 2
Idaho 19 11
Illinois 552 301
Indiana 448 233
Iowa 235 200
Kansas 312 247
Kentucky 413 270
Louisiana 1,755 465
Maine 17 4
Maryland 3,884 1,784
Massachusetts 1,372 723
Michigan 193 130
Minnesota 304 244
Mississippi 290 204
Missouri 222 169
Montana 1 2
Nebraska 351 286
Nevada 228 139
New Hampshire 35 14
New Jersey 2,680 1,440
New Mexico 41 18
New York 5,955 2,615
North Carolina 2,064 833
North Dakota 4 2
Ohio 635 476
Oklahoma 377 225
Oregon 115 120
Pennsylvania 660 333
Rhode Island 203 180
South Carolina 588 292
South Dakota 48 62
Tennessee 1,294 757
Texas 7,709 3,209
Utah 119 62
Vermont 3 1
Virginia 3,887 1,676
Washington 391 285
West Virginia 30 12
Wisconsin 85 39
Wyoming 8 6
Sources:

US Border Patrol, "US Border Patrol Total Monthly UAC Apprehensions by Sector (FY 2010-FY 2015)," www.cbp.gov (accessed Jan. 29, 2016)

US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, "Unaccompanied Children's Services," www.acf.hhs.gov (accessed Jan. 29, 2016)