The New York Times is of some use after all: great tools to see immigration and diversity trends

The New York Times web site has some fascinating interactive graphics about diversity and immigration. On this one, you can see how the ethnic/racial composition of schools has changed from 1987 to 2006. You can look up figures by state county and school district, and these are compared with national trends. The site says:

Immigration’s impact is often first seen in the classroom. The increasing diversity of the nation’s education system is the most detailed measure of where immigrants have settled in recent years. View demographic changes in more than 17,000 school districts across the nation — including your own.

The general trend is this:

Fueled by the latest wave of immigration, enrollment of Hispanic and Asian students in American schools has increased by more than 5 million since the 1990s. The increases are occurring not just in long-time immigration hotbeds, but in places as far flung as Sevier County, Arkansas to Colfax County, Nebraska, to Marion County, Oregon.

Asians increased from 5 to 6 percent; Hispanics from 13 to 21 percent over the period. Blacks and Native Americans remained the same, at 17 percent and 1 percent respectively, and whites dropped from 66 to 56 percent. This represents students, remember, so the minority figures are larger than in the general population.

On that page there is a link to this amazing map of immigration trends by nationality.  You  can run your cursor over any county and see the total population and the number of foreign-born. The counties are coded by color to show where most of the foreign-born are from.

Even better, there’s a timeline that runs from 1880 to 2000. You can select a nationality and move the pointer along the timeline to see what each census showed of that nationality’s settlement. Even this is at the county level, so you can learn, for instance, that in 1890 in Douglas County, Nebraska, there were 260 French-born people out of a total population of 158,008.

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