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An introduction to the history of the american population

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In many ways, the composition of the contemporary United States is more similar to the polyglot nation of the early 20th century, when major waves of immigrants were drawn by greater economic and political opportunities in the United States than were available in their countries of origin.

The desire for religious freedom, flight from persecution, and family ties are also important factors spurring migration Massey, 1999 ; Portes and Rumbaut, 2014 ; Grasmuck and Pessar, 1991. Today as in the past, nearly one in seven Americans is foreign-born.

Meanwhile, the development of federal immigration law since that era discussed in Chapter 2 has led to the rapid growth of an undocumented-immigrant population whose experiences differ from immigrants with legal status in fundamental ways see Chapter 3. In this section, the panel reviews the demographic changes among the foreign-born since 1970. We discuss both flows and stocks of immigrants.

Flows are the numbers of arrivals and departures each year or in a designated period e. Stock refers to the number of foreign-born in the population at a point in time, usually based on counts in the census or other surveys such as the Current Population Survey.

Both flows and stocks have measurement problems. For example, flows of immigrants as measured by administrative data of the U. The panel had less information on how many people leave the United States. The stock data are based on the foreign-born as measured in censuses and surveys, but they include anyone residing in the United States, including those who do not plan to stay and do not consider themselves immigrants. Nevertheless, stock and flow data do provide different but complementary perspectives on the composition of the foreign-born population.

Flow data represent the recent history of immigration. Stock data provide a snapshot of the current and future composition of the foreign-born. The next section begins by discussing the rapid growth of immigration in recent decades and then examines the ways in which these immigrants Page 23 Share Cite Suggested Citation: The Integration of Immigrants into American Society.

The National Academies Press.

  • Seen from the east, the surface of the Great Plains rises inexorably from about 2,000 feet 600 metres near Omaha , Nebraska , to more than 6,000 feet 1,825 metres at Cheyenne , Wyoming , but the climb is so gradual that popular legend holds the Great Plains to be flat;
  • The Appalachian Mountain system The Appalachians dominate the eastern United States and separate the Eastern Seaboard from the interior with a belt of subdued uplands that extends nearly 1,500 miles 2,400 km from northeastern Alabama to the Canadian border;
  • The Integration of Immigrants into American Society;
  • Before the settlement of the Midwest the Piedmont was the most productive agricultural region in the United States, and several Pennsylvania counties still consistently report some of the highest farm yields per acre in the entire country;
  • The Central Lowland resembles a vast saucer, rising gradually to higher lands on all sides.

In the 50 years since the 1965 amendments to the INA passed, the demographics of immigration—and in consequence, the demographics of the United States—have changed dramatically. Before that law passed, the number of Americans who were foreign-born had declined steadily, shrinking from over 14 million in 1930 to less than 10 million in 1970 see Figure 1-1.

As a share of the total population, the foreign-born peaked at almost 15 percent at the turn of the 20th century and declined to less than 5 percent in 1970. After 1970, the number of foreign-born increased rapidly, doubling by 1990 to 19.

  • Although almost completely underlain by crystalline rocks, New England is laid out in north—south bands, reminiscent of the southern Appalachians;
  • This Appalachian coal , like the Mesabi iron that it complements in U.

Original figure based on U. Page 24 Share Cite Suggested Citation: In 2012, there were 41.

Today, 13 percent of the U. Regions and Countries of Origin The vast majority of immigrants in 1900 arrived from Europe; today, the majority come from Latin America and Asia. In 1960, over 60 percent of immigrants were from Europe see Figure 1-2and the top five countries of birth among the foreign-born were Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

  1. By far the largest valley—and one of the most important routes in North America—is the Great Valley , an extraordinary trench of shale and limestone that runs nearly the entire length of the Appalachians. In addition to the presence of surviving Native Americans including American Indians, Aleuts , and Eskimos and the descendants of Africans taken as slaves to the New World, the national character has been enriched, tested, and constantly redefined by the tens of millions of immigrants who by and large have come to America hoping for greater social, political, and economic opportunities than they had in the places they left.
  2. In the Appalachians these differences are sharply demarcated and neatly arranged, so that all the major subdivisions except New England lie in strips parallel to the Atlantic and to one another. Onshore and offshore drilling have revealed colossal reserves of oil and natural gas.
  3. South of New York the Coastal Plain gradually widens, but ocean water has invaded the lower valleys of most of the coastal rivers and has turned them into estuaries.
  4. Before the settlement of the Midwest the Piedmont was the most productive agricultural region in the United States, and several Pennsylvania counties still consistently report some of the highest farm yields per acre in the entire country. GeographyLearn about the landforms and climate of the southeastern United States.

Meanwhile the share of foreign-born from Latin America and Asia has grown rapidly. Forty-four percent of the foreign-born in the United States in 2011 were from Latin America, and 28. The top five countries of birth among the foreign-born in 2010 were China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam. And while immigration from Africa is proportionately much smaller, the number of immigrants from that continent has also increased steadily since 1970.

Mexican immigration has been the driver for the dramatic growth in migration from Latin America since 1970. Today, almost one-third of the foreign-born are from Mexico see Figure 1-3. Immigration from other parts of Latin America also increased: However, a major demographic shift in migration flows is occurring as Mexican immigration, in particular, has slowed and Asian immigration has increased. Between 2008 and 2009, Asian arrivals began to outpace immigration from Latin America; and in 2010, 36 percent of immigrants arrived from Asian countries, versus 31 percent from Latin America see Figure 1-4.

United States

In 2013, China replaced Mexico as the top sending country for immigrants to the United States Jensen, 2015. Race and Ethnicity The United States has a long history of counting and classifying its population by race and ethnicity, beginning with the first Decennial Census in 1790 Prewitt, 2013.

  • In the 50 years since the 1965 amendments to the INA passed, the demographics of immigration—and in consequence, the demographics of the United States—have changed dramatically;
  • However, a major demographic shift in migration flows is occurring as Mexican immigration, in particular, has slowed and Asian immigration has increased;
  • The stock data are based on the foreign-born as measured in censuses and surveys, but they include anyone residing in the United States, including those who do not plan to stay and do not consider themselves immigrants.

However, the categories of race and their interpretation have changed over time—in no small part due to immigration and the absorption of people from different parts of the world.