Where in America is there a ‘normal’ amount of immigration?

The nearly 40 million foreign-born Americans are not even distributed throughout the U.S.

July 25, 2014

Welcome to a recurring feature on Storyline where we identify the counties that are “normal” for an issue in the American landscape, compared to the national average.

“Normal” can be a very subjective term.

According to U.S. Census data, 12.9 percent of Americans were born in a foreign country. The nearly 40 million foreign-born people are not even distributed throughout the country.

Here’s where foreign-born Americans are concentrated, and how they’re distributed relative to the “normal”:

Oddly enough, hardly any counties are “normal” on this one. More than 92 percent of them fall below the U.S average and only 55 counties fall within a percentage point of the average. Only five counties have the same percentage as the U.S. average:

– Brazos County, Tex;

– Cochran County, Tex.;

– Fulton County, Ga.;

– Pima County, Ariz.;

– and Wake County, N.C.

A large reason for that is that some really big counties include a lot of immigrants. The top five percent of counties in terms of foreign-born population hold more than 26 percent of the U.S. population, skewing the average in the U.S. higher.

Steven Rich is the database editor for investigations at The Washington Post. While at The Post, he’s worked on investigations involving tax liens, civil forfeiture, cartels and government oversight. He was also a member of the reporting team awarded the Pulitzer for NSA revelations. PGP Fingerprint: 69FA 5730 ADDD 5488 24FE 6EB2 B727 D930
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