News and analysis from The Center for Michigan • http://thecenterformichigan.net
©2015 Bridge Michigan. All Rights Reserved. • Join us online at http://bridgemi.com

Original article URL: http://bridgemi.com/2014/06/interactive-map-one-state-many-nations-in-a-new-century-michigan-looks-to-its-immigrants/

Economy & competitive position

INTERACTIVE MAP – One state, many nations: In a new century, Michigan looks to its immigrants

Once upon a time, immigrants swelled Michigan’s population, arriving with dreams of working in factories and mines, in farms and companies. And they left their mark on every corner of it. Immigrants are the reason the signature food of the Upper Peninsula, the Cornish pasty, can be purchased around the corner from the pizzerias founded by the descendants of Italian miners, both groups living among Finns and Germans.

Downstate, agricultural workers from Mexico and Central America settled throughout west Michigan, while the Detroit area was a virtual United Nations of newcomers from the Middle East, Europe, East and Southern Asia.

Today, the state is no longer the booming center of an industrial economy, but it still draws immigrants as it did before. Some come via choice, others are swept by the flood tides of revolutions and forcible uprooting. They come from different countries, in search of the same fortunes. A few data points, and their sources:

  • In 2011, 28 percent of all U.S. small businesses were created by immigrants.
  • In 2007, 22,000 businesses in Michigan were owned by Asian Americans.
  • In the Chaldean community, 61 percent of households own at least one business, and many own two or more.

Source: Karen Phillippi, deputy director of the Michigan Office for New Americans

Source: U.S. Census, American Community Survey, 2012 estimates

Mike Wilkinson, Bridge's computer-assisted reporting specialist, compiled data for this report.

Staff Writer Nancy Nall Derringer has been a writer, editor and teacher in Metro Detroit since 2005.

6 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. S Oatman

    What is the time frame for these statistics?

    1. Nancy Derringer

      These are based on 2012 American Community Survey figures. — N.D.

  2. Gene Markel

    The counties of Wayne, Oakland, Mc Comb and Washtenaw appear to be dominated by foreign born inhabitants. Is this correct?

    1. Carrie Rheingans

      A better way to think of this is that of all places with immigrants, the southeast Michigan counties have the highest absolute numbers of immigrants, but they overall represent a small proportion of their overall populations. The counties are still “dominated” by the native-born populations. For example, the top three foreign-born populations in Washtenaw County only add up to less than 15,000 total people – of about 380,000 total people. That is hardly “domination”.

  3. Neil

    Is it true what President Obama said, that the future of America is with the illegal immigrant children? What does that say of American children or legal Asian immigrant children? Of no consequence? Is it that only the immigrant has the smarts to start a business? Are the American children being raised ignorant or have no interest, and are just as capable, in starting a business?

  4. Dan

    Thanks for a nice presentation of this data. One suggestion to make it even more useful: display information on the percentage of a county’s population these people represent in addition the the absolute number of immigrants by origin either as a separate rollover map or, ideally, in the popup for each county). Numbers are important but percentages say something important, but different, about county demographics

Leave your comment...

Your email address will not be published.

Currently on Bridge

Will we be better off if Proposal 1 passes? Former treasurer says yes

An Earth Day pitch: When you hang up the phone for good, toss it the right way

Michigan’s roads affect everyone, so a 'yes' vote on Proposal 1 makes sense

‘Diplomacy Begins Here’ conference aims to illuminate international relations

What NOT to post on Facebook: Jokes about prison rape, when you’re in charge of preventing prison rape

A program to give young offenders a second chance is sending many to prison

Similar accounts in suit over alleged teen prison rapes pose challenge to state's defense

‘New fish’ ‒ One teen inmate’s account of alleged sexual assault

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children

Money Smart Week: Be penny wise, and pound savvier

Plan B or no Plan B, here’s what happens if road proposal fails

The political tale behind the selling of Proposal 1

A Bridge primer: Untangling the pothole promise of Proposal 1

Who supports, and opposes, Proposal 1

Let's rebuild Michigan through its greatest asset: its water

Could a public boarding school model work in Detroit?

Coalition supporting Detroit schools a step in the city’s road back

Chasing fads? Today’s schools are struggling too much for that

For one Michigan legislative staffer, an hour or two in the spotlight

A cull is a kill, and it’s an overreaction to deer ‘problem’

Lack of college guidance keeps poor and rural students from applying

Those who can, do – and get their hands ‘dirty’ in the process

For one Detroit mom, a complicated path to employment

Detroit by the numbers – the truth about poverty

Michigan should require dental screening for all children entering kindergarten

Where in the world is the Center for Michigan?

After two years, hard to call ACA anything but a success

Bridge’s Academic State Champs emphasizes all the wrong measurements

A graying population poses challenges for Up North counties

Up North, isolation impedes health care for seniors

Enbridge oil pipes and the Straits of Mackinac: Too risky to ignore

Not bigger government, but better services when Community Health and Human Services merge

Two Michigans gaze across a widening gap

In northern counties, workers and business find each other lacking

Hidden poverty stalks a Pure Michigan setting

Postcard: How a git-’er-done spirit helps one rural school district

Postcard: When elk is for dinner

Postcard: Luxe life at Bay Harbor reflects changing economy

Postcard: A roof and a bed

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.