The New Times reports on the findings of the 2005 American Community Survey. The Survey results confirm what has been discerned already: more immigrants, chief among them Mexicans, and more spread out across the country.
Two decades ago, demographers said, some 75 percent to 80 percent of new immigrants settled in one of the half-dozen gateway states and tended to stay there. Then, in the last 10 to 15 years, the pattern shifted and increasing numbers began to stay in the gateways briefly and then move. Now, they say, the pattern is that more immigrants are simply bypassing the gateways altogether.
The Times reports that the survey is intended as an annual bolster to the bureau’s constitutionally mandated census of the country’s population every 10 years. It began as a test program in 1996 and has gradually expanded to where it can now provide detailed data for nearly 7,000 geographic areas, including all Congressional districts and counties or cities of 65,000 or more.
It goes on:
“What’s happening now is that immigrants are showing up in many more communities all across the country than they have ever been in,” said Audrey Singer, an immigration fellow at the Brookings Institution. “So it’s easy for people to look around and not just see them, but feel the impact they’re having in their communities. And a lot of these are communities that are not accustomed to seeing immigrants in their schools, at the workplace, in their hospitals.”
By far the largest numbers of immigrants continue to live in the six states that have traditionally attracted them: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois. Immigrants also continue to flow into a handful of states in the Southeast, like Georgia and North Carolina, a trend that was discerned in the 2000 census. But it is in the less-expected immigrant destinations that demographers find the most of interest in the new data. Indiana saw a 34 percent increase in the number of immigrants; South Dakota saw a 44 percent rise; Delaware 32 percent; Missouri 31 percent; Colorado 28 percent; and New Hampshire 26 percent.
“Essentially, it’s a continuation of the Mexicanization of U.S. immigration,” said Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. “You would expect Mexicans to be increasing their share in places like Georgia and North Carolina, which already saw some increases, but they’ve also increased their share of the population, and quite dramatically, in states like Michigan, Delaware and Montana.”
More of America’s immigrants, legal or not, come from Mexico than any other country, an estimated 11 million in 2005, compared with nearly 1.8 million Chinese and 1.4 million Indians.