Plus, legal Indian immigrants dominate 7 states.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: It’s no surprise that Indian Americans are the fastest growing minority demographic in the US, but a new report sheds some light on just how widespread the growing dominance of Indian immigration is from a geographic standpoint.
The report, by Slate.com, shows that India is the most common country of origin – for legal immigrants, that is – in seven US states, all of which are located in the northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The map shows that while the northeast is generally very diverse in terms of countries that have been sending the highest number of immigrants, Mexican legal immigration dominates the continental US. Exactly 26 states in the US have Mexico has their most common country of origin for legal immigrants.
However, the report also looked at which countries besides Mexico each state listed as the most common source for legal immigrants, and it’s here that the figures for India become even more interesting.
Including the aforementioned seven states, a total of 19 US states have India as their highest provider of legal immigrants, when not factoring in Mexico. While some of the states are not particularly surprising – Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina are all added now – states like Arizona, Arkansas, and Alabama are a bit more unexpected.
The other states included, after removing Mexico from consideration, are: Washington, Kansas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Michigan. The report does not list the exact numbers, or even general estimates, for how many Indian-origin people live in each of these states, but it’s now more evident than ever that Indians are not confining themselves to just the east and west coasts.
The report used statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, which were gathered in 2012. About 15% of new legal immigrants that year came from Mexico, while 8% came from China and 6% originated in India.
Other countries that made a big show on the Slate.com report are: China, which is the most common immigrant source for the state of New York, while other states are led by Somalia (Maine), the Dominican Republic (Massachusetts), Bhutan (Vermont and New Hampshire), the Philippines (West Virginia), Cuba (Kentucky), and even Iraq (Michigan).