How to find data on immigrants in your area fast

Follow these steps to find a ton of information quickly, in a few minutes. I am using Vermont as an example, because I live there.

Step One: Go to the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder website

You can enter in zip code, city/town, county and state designations. The sources of data are listed here. I chose “Vermont.”

Enter your desired location, and on next page choose “Origins and Language.” Then, chose among options “selected characteristics of the native and foreign born population.”

The tables on this site can be copied and pasted into an Excel sheet.

I find that among native-born Americans, 33% are 18 thru 44, but for non-naturalized foreign born, 54% are. A third (34%) of non-naturalized foreigners do not speak English “very well,” and 17% of naturalized foreign-born do not speak English “very well.” This suggests a total population of 6,400 potential students of English. Half the Asian speaking people do not speak English “very well.”

Compared to native born, these non-naturalized foreign-born are very over-represented in agriculture (which means dairy in Vermont) and lodging, and very under-represented in construction, finance and public administration. They are much more likely to be employed, and about as likely to be on food stamps/SNAP. And they are much more likely to earn below 100% of the poverty level.

The Migration Policy Institute’s State Immigration Data Profiles have less data but is easier to read.

Step Two: Go to the American Immigration Council

Type in the name of the desired area in “Search.” Then select from number of options the one saying “state fact sheets,” then pick among state fact sheet options. The Council’s fact sheets compress a lot of information into its state-specific “New Americans” sheets.

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