Here’s Everyone Who’s Emigrated to the U.S. Since 1820
by Max Galka
From 1920 to 2013, 79 million people obtained lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The interactive map below visualizes all of them based on their prior country of residence. The brightness of a country corresponds to its total migration to the U.S. at the given time.
Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration (1 dot = 10,000 people)
If you are having difficulty viewing the map above you can watch the video here.
Through time, the immigration sources trace a clear path through the world. Starting in Western Europe with Ireland, Germany, and the U.K., the source moves east to Italy, Russia, and Hungary before shifting to the Americas and finally to Asia. The same trend is clear looking at the history of New York City’s foreign born population.
Here are the largest immigration sources charted over time, showing the progression.
While it may seem that immigration over the last few decades has been higher than ever before, the picture looks very different when viewed relative to the size of the U.S. population.
Here is the same chart, with the immigration shown as a percentage of the U.S. population.
- Immigration data: Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics (download: full report, data in Excel format). The data used for the map is “persons obtaining lawful permanent resident status,” which does not include illegal immigration or, as pointed out by @artsyTrish, people brought to the U.S. as slaves (“forced immigration”).
- World borders: Natural Earth
This post originally appeared on Metrocosm. Reprinted with permission
Max Galka is an NYC-based entrepreneur (my newest project: FOIA Mapper), formerly a trader/modeler of financial and insurance risk. I'm fascinated by data visualization and the ways that data is transforming our understanding of the world. I spend a lot of time with my face buried in Excel, and when I find something interesting I write about it here and as a contributor for the Huffington Post.