Fascinating Interactive Map Shows Immigration to the US from 1830 Onwards

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Fascinating Interactive Map Shows Immigration to the US from 1830 Onwards

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A new interactive map from Metrocosm has visualized immigration to the US in a whole new way. This fascinating tool is a great way to gather a quick view of where US immigrants where coming from between the years 1830 and 2013.

The helpful map will automatically play through each year on its own — highlighting top countries of immigration with bright colors and animated dots — or you may use the scroll bar to select a year of interest yourself. Each animated dot on the map denotes immigration of 10,000 individuals from the associated location.

The difference in immigration levels from various European countries is clearly demonstrated, as are those from Canada and Mexico and countries in Asia, Africa and South America. This data is very useful for any family historian who is researching ancestors who came to the US during these years, especially if you are still trying to determine when an ancestor may have made the big trip.

It’s very interesting to look at how patterns of immigration shifted over these years — with Ireland, Germany and the UK holding top spots for most of the 19th century — and Italy, Hungary and Russia taking over as the century closes. Later, we see how immigration from Mexico and Asia grow significantly. Two other data visualizations are also offered, helping you put this information into context.

Since the data is drawn from Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, this map does not include illegal immigration or forced immigration, including slavery (it is also important to note that the “legal” slave trade from Africa had ceased by the time this map begins.)

To see the map for yourself, visit this page on Metrocosm. They have a variety of other maps of interest as well, including “Where Do New Yorkers Come From” which showcases New York’s diverse population from 1626 onwards.


For more help researching immigrant ancestors, check out our article on free Ellis Island records and another on Castle Garden’s large record collection.

Thanks to Cyndi’s List for posting a link to this resource on their Facebook page.

By Melanie Mayo – Editor, Family History Daily

Image: Screenshot of Metrocosm Immigration Map

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