CHART: America’s Second Great Wave of Immigration

The World
How It Works
Feb. 27 2014 5:55 PM

America’s Second Great Wave of Immigration

noncitgraphic

Census.gov

The chart above, from the official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau, tracks America’s foreign-born population in both raw numbers and as a percentage of the total population. As the bureau’s Elizabeth Grieco writes, we’re now experiencing a period of immigration not seen since the first great wave around the turn of the last century.

“Between 1880 and 1930, the foreign-born population represented between 12 and 15 percent of the total population,” she writes. After a long decline through most of the 20th century, we’re now back up to about 13 percent.

Advertisement

Obviously, not all Americans will feel great about this—including large numbers of those whose families arrived as part of the last great wave—though the fact that this number is likely to start shrinking again soon due to lower rates of immigration might be the larger cause for concern.   

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Culturebox

The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here

I feel like a kid in some kind of store.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The Difference Between Being a Hero and an Altruist

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Outward
Oct. 22 2014 10:37 AM Judge Upholds Puerto Rico’s Gay Marriage Ban in a Comically Inane Opinion
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 22 2014 10:29 AM Apple TV Could Still Work Here’s how Apple can fix its living-room product.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 10:30 AM Monster Sunspot Will Make Thursday’s Eclipse That Much Cooler
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.