I just came across a nifty interactive infographic from the New York Times that tracks geographic settlement patterns of major racial/ethnic immigrant groups throughout the United States by decade, from 1880 to 2000: the Immigration Explorer.
For every group included in the graphic, you will notice that as the decades pass, their settlement patterns become more dispersed throughout the country. In other words, in the past, immigrants would concentrate in the traditional major metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
But these days, immigrants have spread out and are settling into new “gateway” areas — areas that aren’t used to having large immigrant populations. And unfortunately, these demographic shifts can and have led to some tensions between old-time residents and the new arrivals. For more research on the new settlement patterns of contemporary immigrants, I recommend books such as:
- Dufoix, Stephane. 2008. Diasporas. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Gozdziak, Elzbieta M. and Susan F. Martin (Eds.). 2005. Beyond the Gateway: Immigrants in a Changing America. Lanham: Lexington Books.
- Shinagawa, Larry H. and Michael Jang. 1998. Atlas of American Diversity. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
- Singer, Audrey, Susan Wiley Hardwick, and Caroline Brettell (Eds.). 2008. Twenty-First Century Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburban America. New York: Brookings Institution Press.
- Vo, Linda Trinh and Rick Bonus. (Eds.). 2002. Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersections and Divergences. Philadelphia: Temple Univesity Press.