It is a well-known fact that the U.S. immigrant population has grown steadily in recent years. What may be less known is where the majority of those new arrivals are ending up.
Back in 1990, California was the only state to have more than a fifth of its population born outside the U.S. The Pew Research Center found that today four states – California, New York, New Jersey and Florida – meet that threshold.
Those four states and 11 more – Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Arizona, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Washington and Virginia – account for 79 percent of all the nation’s immigrants. And although the rankings of the states have changed since 1990, which states made the top 15 hasn't.
“The number of immigrants have risen so quickly in some parts of the country that states typically thought of as hubs of immigration, such as Arizona, have slipped behind other states by some measures,” the Pew Research Center noted. It added that immigrants made up 12.9 percent of Arizona’s population in 2000, putting the state ninth of the list, but by 2012 it had fallen to 12th even though the percentage of immigrants in the state rose to 13.6 percent of its population.
Studying data from the Department of Homeland Security, Slate found that 15 percent of the new immigrants came from Mexico, with China and India coming in second and third respectively with roughly 8 and 6 percent of 2012’s new legal permanent residents.
Mexicans made up the majority of immigrants in 26 states and surprisingly held the top immigrant spots in places as far from the border as Michigan, Washington and Tennessee.
Cubans are the largest immigrant group in Florida and Kentucky, while Dominicans predominate in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.