America, it has been said, is a nation of immigrants. While this point was originally made over a century ago, it has never been truer than it is today. Immigration continues to shape this nation and the way we perceive ourselves.
However, because the US is broken down into fifty different states, immigration is markedly different throughout the country. Some states – like Maine – have virtually no foreign presence, while others – like California – have a diverse assortment of different peoples and cultures.
In many ways, understanding the influx of foreign-born individuals into this country is the key to understanding the United States as a country. Immigration can have an enormous effect on the character and makeup of a state, and can even define its culture and its future.
Immigration by State
One of the best ways to perceive how population shifts have affected the US and our cultural identity is to compare the changes in immigrant population by state. The following data is collected from the 1990 and 2000 censuses, and describes a percentage change in states’ populations of foreign-born individuals. For example, a rate change of 100% means that there are twice as many foreign-born individuals living in the state.
• North Carolina experienced the largest change in immigrant population – an increase of 273.7%.
• The Old South has experienced a rise in immigrant population in general. Georgia saw a 233.4% increase, Tennessee saw a 169.0% increase, Kentucky’s grew by 135.3%, and South Carolina’s grew by 132.1%.
• The other major growth area is the Southwest. Nevada is #3 on the list, with an increase of 202.0%. Utah (170.8%) and Arizona (135.9%) also made the Top 10.
If you are interested in learning more about immigration statistics and immigration law, please visit the website of the Austin immigration attorneys of the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC.