Tom Edsall writes about how Trump won many localities which saw their minority populations from virtually zero in the past 15 – 20 years.
“Where are the overwhelmingly white localities experiencing the most rapid rate of minority population growth, although the absolute numbers themselves are small? They are in the part of the nation’s heartland — Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — where Trump earned enough Electoral College support to win the presidency even as he lost the popular vote.”
In my own research I have recorded, “For the first 80 years of the 20th Century, immigrants stayed largely along the coasts and the Mexican border. After 1980, the immigrant population rose almost three times and spread into most counties in the country. Sixty-two million people speak a language other than English at home today.”
A study published in 2010 showed that anti-immigration sentiment increased noticeably in communities with relatively rapid in-migration and much faster in these communities when immigration became a national political topic.
The Center for Immigration Studies looked at the foreign-born populations in each county for 1990, 2000 and 2014.
In 1990, one could correctly guess the counties with an immigrant share of at least 5% by estimating what the nation’s county map look liked during Kennedy Presidency: New York City and New Jersey, southern New England, Washington DC, South-Central Florida, Chicago, the three rows of counties along and away from the Mexican border and three counties away, California, and isolated counties bordering Canada. The only concentration that might surprise people are happened in many counties in Washington State.
CIS reported that between 1990 and 2014 the number of counties in which at least a fifth of the population over 17 was foreign born rose from 44 to 152. Now almost all the counties along, west and south of a line from Seattle to Houston have at least a 5% immigrant population. So do many southern and upper Midwest counties. Since 1990, the immigrant share of adults has more than quadrupled in 232 counties (usually starting with very low rates such as 1% to 3%). The Center speculates that resistance to immigration is especially strong in small towns where the foreign-bon population became visible in recent decades.
Georgia’s Stewart County went from under 1% to 23% immigrants. In the ten years from 2000 through 2010, the Hispanic population went from 1.5% to 24%, causing the county to increase its total population for the first time since the 1900 census.