America has always been a land of immigrants. In our ongoing search for demographic outliers in the US, we found the place in every state with the highest proportion of foreign-born residents.
The American Community Survey is conducted annually by the Census Bureau to better understand the changing demographics of the US population. One of the many questions on the survey asks whether the respondent was foreign-born. Using estimates from the 2008-2012 ACS, we found the place (a legally incorporated town, city, or village, or a Census-designated statistical equivalent) with at least 1,000 population that had the highest proportion of residents born in another country. Here are those places, colour coded by the world region where the largest part of the place’s residents were born:
There’s a very large spread in the top places among the states: while 74.4% of the residents of Sweetwater, FL were born in another country, in Montana, only 4.7% of Bigfork’s residents were foreign-born, and yet this is the highest rate in the state.
Unsurprisingly, in most of the places, Latin America is the most common birthplace among immigrants. However, in some places in the northeast and midwest, and in Alaska and Hawaii, immigrants from Asia were most common in the towns with the most immigrants. Madawaska, ME and Bigfork, MT are both quite close to the Canadian border, and their biggest source of foreign-born residents was Northern America.
Here’s a table showing the places and the per cent of their populations that was foreign-born: