South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee had the fastest growing foreign-born populations from 2000 to 2009, according to an analysis of immigration trends by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. The number of immigrants in those states and 11 others, which the institute brief calls “new-destination states,” grew by 49 percent or more during that period of time (hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog). That’s compared to a national average of 24 percent growth over the same period.
The brief has a few interesting facts about the immigrants in these new-destination states. They are less likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens than immigrants in the seven states that have traditionally received immigrants since the 1960s: California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. But they are less likely to have limited proficiency in English. More than one-third of the immigrants in the new destination states are from Mexico.
Besides South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee, the other new-destination states, listed in order from greatest growth to smallest, are: Delaware, Arkansas, South Dakota, Nevada, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wyoming, Idaho, Indiana, and Mississippi.
I expect that in these states, a lot of educators are trying to figure out how to integrate growing numbers of English-language learners into their school systems.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.