Jessica L., a doctoral candidate in sociology at Kent State and traveling adjunct instructor at Lewis University and Indiana University Northwest, let us know that the New York Times has an interesting interactive map that uses Census data from 1880 to 2000 to show where various immigrant groups have settled. You can select area of origin (some specific, such as China, others very broad, such as “All Africa”) and see where individuals from that area were living in the U.S. for different years (because of changes in Census categories and data gathering, information isn’t available for all groups for all years).
The German-born population in 1880:
If you go to the NYT site, you can roll over the circles to get the specific population.
The Japanese-born population in 1900, indicating immigration to Hawaii and, to a lesser extent, California and Washington to work in agriculture:
The map also lets you trace the rise and fall of some immigration streams. For instance, in 1880 there were 198,595 people born in Ireland living just in Manhattan alone:
By 2000, the Irish-born population in the U.S. was tiny, and only 4,147 of them lived in Manhattan:
The Mexican-born population in 2000: