Washington Sees the 5th Most Border Crossings Into the U.S.

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While the media frequently portrays U.S. borders as dangerous and undesirable, border cities can often be attractive places to live.

Despite some of these cities having reputations for criminal activity—especially those along the southern border with Mexico—they typically have lower rates of violent crime and homicide than the national average. Border cities can have a larger presence of Border Patrol and drug enforcement agents in addition to local law enforcement, which some point to as the primary factor for reduced crime numbers.

In addition to being safer, border cities often offer diversity and growing economic activity. Being adjacent to neighboring countries naturally lends itself well to cultural, culinary, and linguistic diversity. Similarly, border ports of entry serve as major arteries for people entering the U.S. and primary gateways for international trade among the North American countries. The vast amount of border crossings can help sustain local economies and make border cities more appealing places to live.

Border crossings into the U.S. at ports of entry decreased dramatically in 2020, but have since rebounded. Non-essential travel restrictions introduced to combat COVID-19 made it such that leisure travel into the U.S. through border ports were ground to a halt. This resulted in a record low of roughly 117 million people and 69 million vehicles crossing the borders into the U.S. in 2020, the lowest respective values since the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics began tracking this data in 1996.

Since then, travel restrictions have been lifted and border entries have recovered somewhat. In 2022, the U.S. processed nearly 194 million people and over 100 million vehicles entering into the country, which is still 20.0% and 10.5% below pre-pandemic levels from 2019, respectively. While these signs are encouraging in the bid to return to normalcy, those values are still well below the levels observed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Since border cities often rely on border crossings for economic activity, it is encouraging to see border travel into the U.S. recovering. Millions of people cross into the U.S. through the ports of entry each year, and the most popular way to enter is by personal vehicle. Personal vehicle passengers accounted for 80.2% of people crossing the border into the U.S. in 2022, followed by pedestrians (18.5%), bus passengers (1.2%), and train passengers (less than 0.1%). Meanwhile, 87.2% of the vehicles passing through border crossings were personal vehicles, followed by cargo trucks (12.7%), buses (0.1%), and trains (less than 0.1%).

While the northern border with Canada accounts for two-thirds of the border ports in the U.S., ports of entry at the southern border with Mexico process the vast majority of border crossings into the country. Nearly 86% of all passenger and pedestrian crossings occurred at the southern border in 2022. Similarly, ports of entry at the Mexican border processed over 80% of vehicular crossings into the U.S. that same year. As a result, 12 of the top 15 busiest border ports of entry are situated along the southern border.

The data used in this analysis is from the Bureau of Transportation. To determine the states with the busiest border crossings for entering the United States, researchers at HireAHelper calculated the total passenger and pedestrian crossings into the U.S. from a bordering country through each port of entry per state. Passengers were defined as those arriving via bus, train, or personal vehicles. Researchers also calculated the total vehicles that entered into the U.S. from each border port of entry.

Here is a summary of the data for Washington:

  • Border country: Canada
  • Total passenger & pedestrian crossings: 6,234,995
  • Total passenger crossings: 6,209,278
  • Total pedestrian crossings: 25,717
  • Total vehicle crossings: 3,980,272

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on HireAHelper’s website: https://www.hireahelper.com/lifestyle/busiest-border-crossings-for-entering-the-us

Originally published on hireahelper.com, part of the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.

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