Animated Map Traces U.S. Immigration History

At the Murthy Law Firm, we take utmost pride in helping to make the American dream of our clients a reality. Living and working in the United States is often the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and patience on the part of our clientele, and it is our privilege to be able to guide them through the complex immigration process and welcome them into our nation. Our work serves as a daily reminder that the unique opportunities afforded by the U.S. should never be taken for granted, and that our country was shaped from its very inception by immigrants who came here to seek out a better life. We are, and always have been, a nation of immigrants – from first generation Americans, to the descendants of first wave immigrants who crossed over to our shores centuries ago. And a new animated map released this week depicts this flow of immigration in mesmerizing detail. [See Here’s Everyone Who’s Immigrated to the U.S. Since 1920, by Max Galka, Metrocosm, 3.May.2015.]

The map was developed by entrepreneur Max Galka and originally posted on the website Metrocosm, which specializes in statistical data analysis and visualization. Derived from data compiled by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, the map tracks immigration flow of lawful permanent residents into the United States, by year and by country, from 1820 to 2013. Native countries of immigrants are separated by color, and migration into the U.S. from each country is depicted by a moving dot, which represents 10,000 people. A scale at the bottom of the map tracks each year as it coordinates with the migration flow. In under 90 seconds, the map tracks the migration of almost 80 million people into the U.S. over nearly 200 years. While conceptually simple, it illustrates intriguing patterns in our nation’s immigration history. [See Where Your Forebears Come From, in One Astonishing Map, by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 10.May.2016.]

Throughout the 1800’s, the majority of immigrants to the United States arrived from Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The opportunity to escape the religious persecution, extreme economic disparity, and famine that plagued parts of Europe during this period were prime motivations for making the journey to our shores. The early 21st century saw an increase in immigrants from Eastern European countries such as Italy, Russia, and Hungary who were eager to take advantage of the booming industrial revolution in the U.S. and secure a steady income by working in a mill or factory. Immigration flow decreased overall during the Great Depression of the 1930’s and did not increase again until after 1965, when the majority of immigrants arrived from Canada and Mexico. During the last 30 years, we have seen a surge of immigrants from Asia, many of whom are highly educated and seeking to join the thriving U.S. tech industry. [See Trends in Migration to the U.S., by Philip Martin, Population Reference Bureau, May.2014.]

Though immigration patterns have changed throughout our nation’s history, one immutable fact remains – aside from NativeAmericans, we all came from somewhere else. This diverse blend of cultures, perspectives, and experiences is what has shaped the United States into a unique and exciting place that still beckons to those who wish to work hard and make their dreams come true. We are indeed a nation of immigrants, and that has remained one of our greatest strengths.


Copyright © 2016, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.