10 states with the most illegal immigrants, impact on healthcare spending

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According to recent data, there are approximately 11.4 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, costing American taxpayers $346 billion annually. While these immigrants come to the United States for a better quality of life, the healthcare system is greatly affected by their increasing population and use of healthcare services.

According to The Center for Immigration Studies, the estimated cost of treating uninsured illegal immigrants is $4.3 billion a year, primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics. Some illegal immigrants even receive Medicaid benefits, despite the fact that they are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid plans, according to a Kaiser Health News report. Additionally, a 2007 report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that within a span of four years, about 99 percent of those who used emergency Medicaid were immigrants who entered the country illegally.

The concentration of illegal immigrant populations in certain regions and states poses a set of complex issues for healthcare policymakers. Below are the 10 states with the largest percentages of illegal immigrant populations.

1. California: 2.82 million illegal immigrants in residence, comprising 25 percent of the illegal immigrant population of the U.S.

2. Texas: 1.83 million illegal immigrants, 16 percent

3. Florida: 730,000 illegal immigrants, 6 percent

4. New York: 580,000 illegal immigrants, 5 percent

5. Illinois: 540,000 illegal immigrants, 5 percent

6. New Jersey: 430,000 illegal immigrants, 4 percent

7. Georgia: 400,000 illegal immigrants, 3 percent

8. North Carolina: 360,000 illegal immigrants, 3 percent

9. Arizona: 350,000 illegal immigrants, 3 percent

10. Washington: 270,000 illegal immigrants, 2 percent.

There are approximately 3.11 million additional undocumented immigrants across the other 40 states.

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