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Immigration Trends in Metropolitan America, 1980-2007

Ajay ChaudryKarina Fortuny, Paul A. Jargowsky
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Document date: December 14, 2010
Released online: December 17, 2010
Untitled Document

Abstract

Growth in immigration flows in the past three decades has almost tripled the size of the foreign-born population in the United States: from 14 million in 1980 to 38 million in 2007. Immigrants are still heavily concentrated in the six traditional immigrant destination states (California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey), but immigrant numbers grew rapidly in many western, midwestern, and southeastern states.  Not surprisingly, many metropolitan areas outside the traditional destination states saw high immigration growth. This brief examines immigration and poverty trends between 1980 and 2007 across the 100 metropolitan areas with the largest immigrant populations.

The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the entire brief in PDF format.


Growth in immigration flows in the past three decades has almost tripled the size of the foreign-born population in the United States. Between 1980 and 2007, the number of immigrants increased from 14 million to 38 million. 1 The rate of growth was fastest in the 1990s, when immigrants increased from 20 million in 1990 to 31 million by 2000. Their numbers continued to increase steadily during the 2000s and reached 38 million in 2007.

The foreign-born share of the population has grown as well. In 1980, immigrants represented just 6 percent of the U.S. population (just above the historic low of 4.7 percent set in 1970). By 2007, the foreign-born share had climbed to 13 percent of the population of the United States, a level not seen since 1920.

Immigrants are still heavily concentrated in the six traditional immigrant destination states (California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey); 66 percent of all immigrants lived there in 2007. However, the share in these states has fallen from 73 percent in 1990 as immigrant populations grow rapidly in many western, midwestern, and southeastern states. The spread is notable in many states that have not had large foreign-born populations historically. In North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee, where immigrants constituted 3 percent or less of the population in 1990, the foreign-born increased threefold or more between 1990 and 2007. While the immigrant population in the United States doubled during this time, some of these newer high-growth immigration states, such as North Carolina and Georgia, have seen fivefold increases in their foreign-born populations.2

Not surprisingly, many metropolitan areas outside the traditional immigrant destination states saw high growth in the size of their foreign-born populations. But even in these newer high-growth states, much of this growth was concentrated in the larger metropolitan areas, as was the case in the traditional immigrant destination states.

This data brief examines immigration trends between 1980 and 2007 across the 100 metropolitan areas with the largest immigrant populations, including the growth, concentration, and dispersion of the foreign-born population.3 In addition to the trends in the foreign-born population, the brief examines trends in the population of native-born children with immigrant parents.

End of excerpt. The entire brief, with footnotes and tables is available in PDF format.



Topics/Tags: | Cities and Neighborhoods | Immigrants


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