Percentage of Immigrant Adults Quadruple in 232 Counties Across U.S.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The proportion of immigrant adults in communities across the United States has seen tremendous growth in recent years, a great deal of it occurring in so-called fly-over country, according to a new Center for Immigration Studies analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

“Census Bureau data, which includes legal and illegal immigrants, shows that growth in the adult immigrant population in some counties has been nothing short of astonishing, while other areas have seen little growth,” the CIS report, released Monday, reads. CIS is an nonprofit think tank that favors lower immigration rates.

The group’s analysis details the relatively rapid increase in the proportion of immigrant adults compared to the rest of the adult population in counties across the U.S. from 1990 to 2014. In that 24 year span CIS probed, the immigrant share of the adult population in the United States quadrupled in 232 counties.

Some of the counties experiencing growth of that magnitude, per CIS’ report, included:

In Georgia: Stewart County, <1 percent to 23 percent; Echols County, 2 percent to 21 percent; and Gwinnett County, 6 percent to 32 percent.

In North Carolina: Mecklenburg County, 4 percent to 17 percent; Durham County, 4 percent to 16 percent; and Duplin County, 2 percent to 15 percent.

In Kansas: Scott County, 2 to 15 percent; and Hamilton County, 3 percent to 21 percent.

In Nebraska: Colfax County, 3 percent to 30 percent; Dawson County, <1 percent to 24 percent; and Dakota County, 6 percent to 28 percent.

In Minnesota: Nobles County, 2 percent to 24 percent; and Watonwan County, 3 percent to 13 percent.

In Oklahoma: Texas County, 2 percent to 28 percent; and Harper County, 2 percent to 14 percent.

In Virginia: Manassas Park City, 7 percent to 40 percent; and Loudoun County, 7 to 30 percent.

In Texas: Garza County, 5 percent to 48 percent; and Dallam County, 3 percent to 17 percent.

Other examples include: Buena Vista County, Iowa, 3 percent to 22 percent; and Jerome County Idaho, 4 percent to 22 percent.

The ever-larger share of immigrant adults in the United States has not just grown within counties but has also expanded to more counties, where in 1990 only one in eight Americans lived in a county where the immigrant population represented at least a 20 percent share of area adults, in 2014 that ratio was one in three Americans.

The report focuses on the adult share of the immigrant population because, the authors reason, adults have a more “immediate impact” on the workforce, culture, and society.

“Adults directly affect the job market as workers, impact politics as constituents and potential voters, and begin to reshape the culture in receiving communities as soon as they arrive,” the report — authored by Steven Camarota the group’s director of research and Bryan Griffith, CIS’ multimedia director — reads.

While much of the growth has occurred in smaller counties, CIS notes that there are some larger regions with populations over a million residents that have experienced equally substantial growth in the immigrant share of adults, including:

Dallas County, Texas: 13 percent to 29 percent;

King County, Wash.: 11 percent to 25 percent;

Clark County, Nev.: 11 percent to 27 percent;

Alameda County, Calif.: 21 percent to 38 percent;

Sacramento County, Calif.: 12 percent to 25 percent;

Fairfax County, Va.: 18 percent to 37 percent; and

Montgomery County, Md.: 22 percent to 40 percent.

The findings have impacts on a local level, however, CIS argues the results can be traced back to the decisions made in Washington, D.C.