Tags: Immigration | immigration | diversity

America's 10 Melting Pot Cities

A map showing Silicon Valley
A map showing Silicon Valley (Zimmytws/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 16 August 2019 12:43 PM

America has more immigrants than any other country in the world, recent data compiled by the Pew Research Center shows. Job opportunities and ease of entry have lured over 40 million people to the U.S. in recent years, and roughly half are now living in three states: California, Texas, and New York.

One of the reasons why new residents in America cluster in certain cities is because of existing immigrant communities.

"Where there are strong anchors for immigrant groups, social relatives will go there," Andre Perry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, told 24/7 Wall St.

For decades, certain cities have acted as melting pots for new immigrants. This can be seen in migration patterns that mirror those of the past.

24/7 Wall St. recently gathered and analyzed data to establish exactly where immigrants were flowing to. Based on these findings, here are 10 of America's current top melting pot cities:

10. Laredo, Texas

  • Pct. born abroad: 28.3%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 26.6%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (94.8% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +2.8%

Due to its location along the U.S.-Mexico border, the second largest number of Mexican-born residents resides in Laredo.

9. Merced, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 26.4%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 40.3%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (72% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +0.9%

Over half of Merced's population is of Hispanic or Latino descent. That's largely due to the city's agricultural industry, which drew large numbers of immigrant farmworkers. The Laotian Civil War also drove fleeing Hmong immigrants to Merced.

8. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida

  • Pct. born abroad: 27%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 45.1%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (21.9% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +5.1%

Roughly 64% of Naples' population identifies as white. However, not many are native-born and at least 5% come from Europe. A portion of the population was also born in Latin American countries.

7. El Centro, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 29.9%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 51.0%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (92.4% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +1.7%

El Centro has one of the largest Mexican populations in the U.S., with 27.6% of its residents born in Mexico. Many Hispanic workers immigrated to the city to work in its agriculture industry.

6. Salinas, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 31.1%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 24.8%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (74.9% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +1.6%

Agriculture in Salinas is booming and a vast majority of its migrant farm workers were born in Mexico.

5. New York-Newark-Jersey City

  • Pct. born abroad: 29.3%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 55.3%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Dominican Republic (10.6% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +5.5%

The port of entry for America's waves of immigration is the city of New York, which explains why its foreign-born population comprises of 130 national origins. Roughly 4.4% of the city's population was born in Europe while 8.6% are from Asia.

4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 30.9%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 55.1%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: China (19.8% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +4.9%

Unlike other melting pot cities in America, the largest share of foreign-born residents in San Francisco comes from Asia. Today, at least one in four San Franciscans identifies as Asian, and just under 20% of the city's foreign-born residents are from China.

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 33.6%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 51.9%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (38.3% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +3.2%

Los Angeles is a hive of cultural, ethnic and racial diversity. In the mid-19th century, thousands of Chinese workers came to work on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, while the 20th century saw a steady flow of immigrants from Mexico as well as African-Americans moving from other parts of the U.S.

2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida

  • Pct. born abroad: 40.5%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 57.3%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Cuba (32.3% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +9.2%

Nearly one-quarter of Miami's population consists of foreign-born residents, many of whom are Caribbean migrants and Puerto Ricans.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

  • Pct. born abroad: 38.5%
  • Pct. of foreign-born gained citizenship: 52.3%
  • Origin of largest immigrant group: Mexico (20.7% of foreign-born pop.)
  • Population increase due to international immigration, 2010-17: +7.2%

San Jose is the iconic city of the American melting pot. Its agriculture industry drew scores of Mexican farmworkers between the late 1800s and the mid-20th century, while the city's growing tech industry now attracts thousands of international immigrants. It is estimated that roughly two in five San Jose residents were born outside the U.S., and 25.4% are from Asia.

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America has more immigrants than any other country in the world, recent data compiled by the Pew Research Center shows.
immigration, diversity
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2019-43-16
Friday, 16 August 2019 12:43 PM
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