Immigration to the United States
The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding such issues as maintaining ethnic homogeneity, workers for employers versus jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior.
Prior to 1965, policies such as the national origins formula limited immigration and naturalization opportunities for people from areas outside Western Europe. Exclusion laws enacted as early as the 1880s generally prohibited or severely restricted immigration from Asia, and quota laws enacted in the 1920s curtailed Eastern European immigration. The civil rights movement led to the replacement of these ethnic quotas with per-country limits. Since then, the number of first-generation immigrants living in the United States has quadrupled.
- Place of birth for the foreign-born population in the United States
|Top ten countries||2015||2010||2000||1990|
|All of Latin America||21,224,087||16,086,974||8,407,837|
Source: 1990, 2000 and 2010 decennial Census and 2015 American Community Survey.
The first significant European immigration wave, spanning the 16th to 18th centuries, consisted mostly of settlers from the British Isles attracted by economic opportunity and religious freedom. These early immigrants were a mix of well-to-do individuals and indentured servants. Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants arriving during the 1840s and 1850s made up the second wave of European immigration, fleeing famine, religious persecution, and political conflicts. Unlike the first Europeans, who were mostly Protestants, the new arrivals were overwhelmingly Catholic. They came from much poorer backgrounds and were younger and less skilled.
After a pause in European immigration during the U.S. Civil War, more than 20 million immigrants arrived—primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe—between 1880 and 1920. Most Southern European immigrants were motivated by economic opportunity in the United States, while Eastern Europeans (primarily Jews) fled religious persecution. World War I slowed European immigration, and the national-origin quotas established in 1921 and 1924—which gave priority to Western and Northern Europeans—coupled with the Great Depression and the onset of World War II brought immigration from Europe to a near halt.
European Immigrants by Region and Top Countries of Origin, 2016
Germanic people made America great!
United States postal abbreviations for states, military, commonwealths, and territories.
|District of Columbia||DC|
|Armed Forces Africa||AE|
|Armed Forces Americas||AA|
|Armed Forces Canada||AE|
|Armed Forces Europe||AE|
|Armed Forces Middle East||AE|
|Armed Forces Pacific||AP|