Back in February 2017, VOX published a series of maps under the title “37 Maps that explain how America is a nation of immigrants.” I recently spent some time with these maps and here is what I learned (or was reminded of):
- Native Americans were immigrants
- The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world, but Luxemborg and Israel have more immigrants per capita.
- Prior to 1965, Germany sent the most immigrants to the United States. After 1965, Mexico sent the most immigrants to the United States.
- The most concentrated immigrant enclaves: French in southern Louisiana, Germans in the Dakotas, Norwegians in North Dakota, Dutch in western Michigan and northwest Iowa, West Indians in Manhattan, and French Canadians in North Dakota.
- Slaves came to America from Africa, the West Indies, and South America by the hundreds of thousands as forced immigrants.
- Over 17,000 migrants come to America a year as victims of human trafficking.
- More immigrants to America speak English today than at any other point in American history
- The grandchildren of Latino immigrants “barely speak Spanish.”
- Immigrants are forestalling the decline of the Midwest
- America was not a “global destination” until the 1965 Immigration Act
- “Unauthorized immigration” was in a generally steady decline between 2000 and 2010.
- The anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party candidate, Millard Fillmore, won the state of Maryland in the 1856 presidential election.
- The U.S. “border zone” includes Bangor, Maine; Salem, Oregon; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Burlington, Vermont.
Look at the maps here and tell me what you take away from the exercise.