How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Four of the top 10 states with biggest immigrant population growth now have Arizona-style laws

Source: Migration Policy Institute

The top 10 states with the biggest foreign-born population growth between 1990 and 2010, based on census data

One post earlier this week mapped the top 10 states with the biggest foreign-born population growth since 1990; another post took a look at the states that since 2010 have enacted anti-illegal immigration laws. Among these are five states that since then have enacted strict laws similar to Arizona's SB 1070, which the U.S. Supreme Court is set to weigh in on next month.

Put the data in both together and you have this: A list of the states with the fastest-growing immigrant populations that have recently enacted Arizona-style immigration laws. And as it turns out, of the five states with new laws similar to SB 1070 since 2010 - Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and Indiana - all but one are on the top 10 list.

Here are the four states, all of which have seen more than 280 percent growth in their foreign-born populations since 1990, according to the Migration Policy Institute map above, and a brief synopsis of what's happening with their immigration laws, all of which face legal challenges:

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Which immigrants live where, mapped (Part 2)

A series of new maps from the Migration Policy Institute illustrates where immigrants from eight top sending countries tend to reside in the United States, highlighting the top states and cities they settle in. A previous post this morning showed where immigrants from Mexico, China, India and Philippines gravitate to; the four remaining maps below, updated with 2010 census data, point out the destinations of immigrants from Vietnam, El Salvador, Cuba and Korea.

Five of the eight immigrant groups - excluding those from China, India and Cuba - are most highly concentrated in the L.A. metropolitan region. But we already knew that.

The entire MPI map series can be downloaded here.

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Which immigrants live where, mapped (Part 1)

In a new series of maps based on 2010 census data, the Migration Policy Institute pinpoints just where it is that immigrants from specific nations call home. Only eight of the nation's largest immigrant groups are represented so far, but it's striking to see where they live today illustrated state by state, with the cities that are immigrant strongholds highlighted.

And yes, expect to see Los Angeles come up as a top destination again and again.

Here are four of the updated maps, illustrating the places in the U.S. that immigrants from Mexico, China, India and the Philippines most tend to call home:

A follow-up post will show the destinations of immigrants from four other top-sending countries. The entire MPI map series can be downloaded here.

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Top 10 states with the fastest-growing immigrant populations

Source: Migration Policy Institute


The Migration Policy Institute has produced another striking set of updated immigration-related maps based on 2010 census data, including this one. It’s well known from last year’s census that much of the recent growth in the nation’s foreign-born population has not taken place in usual destinations such as California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois (the states in blue), but in less traditional states, especially in the South.

Seeing the state-by-state growth mapped throws these demographic changes into relief, especially given the more recent headlines as some of these states have implemented strict new immigration laws. For the sake of reference, here are the states listed in order: 1. North Carolina; 2. Georgia; 3. Arkansas; 4. Tennessee; 5. Nevada; 6. South Carolina; 7. Kentucky; 8. Nebraska; 9. Alabama; 10. Utah.

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The nation's immigrant population, illustrated

Source: Immigration Policy Center

As far as interactive maps and graphics charting the nation's immigrant population go, the Immigration Policy Center has released the granddaddy of them all this week. Based on census, economic and other data, a 50-state interactive map on the IPC homepage gives way to detailed state-by-state compilations of demographic, economic, educational, entrepreneurial, political and other information on the foreign-born, Latino and Asian populations of each state.

Each state page is accompanied by a downloadable infographic, like the one above for California, and a state fact sheet. Just a few highlights from the California fact sheet:



  • Immigrants comprised 34.6% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 6.5 million workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • 45.6% of immigrants (or 4.6 million people) in California were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010 (up from 31.2% in 1990)—meaning that they are eligible to vote.

  • Immigrants in California pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes, and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year. In California, “the average immigrant-headed household contributes a net $2,679 annually to Social Security, which is $539 more than the average US-born household.”

  • Together, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians comprised more than one-quarter of all businesses in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

  • The number of immigrants in California with a college degree increased by 42.8% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.


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