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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Who came from where when? Immigration history in charts

Screen shot from www.migrationinformation.org

Screen shot from www.migrationinformation.org


There's a treasure trove of U.S. immigration history buried in census data, and the Migration Policy Institute has again updated its collection of graphs and charts detailing it.

The data includes some statistics that might be expected, for example the top ten immigrant sending countries (Mexico remains at the top, followed at a distance by China) and the annual number of new U.S. citizens, a number that has dropped sharply since the most recent peak in 2008.

There's also a fair amount of hard-to-guess immigration trivia dating back decades:


  • Which country has the largest immigrant diaspora group in the United States in terms of ethnic origin? Germany. (Mexico come in second, though it leads in terms of country of birth.)

  • Even as recently as 1980, which region's immigrants made up the biggest percentage of foreign-born residents in the U.S.? Europeans. (Latinos took the lead in 1990.)

  • When did legal immigration to the U.S. peak? 1991. (In the last couple of years, it has been down to levels below that of the previous peak in the early 1900s.)

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