|New Englands immigration streams differ from those of the United States as a whole. Central America is the dominant sending region for the U.S. foreign-born population (36 percent of immigrants were born there). In contrast, only 7 percent of New Englands foreign-born were born in Central America.|
|Examining the immigrant populations countries of origin reveals even more pronounced differences between New England and the United States. The most obvious difference is the influence of Mexican immigration. More generally, New England has no single country of origin that contributes such a large fraction of immigrants. Portugal, the leading country of origin for the region, accounts for only 7 percent of the regions immigrants. Only three countries, China, India, and Canada, are in both the U.S. and New Englands top 10 countries of origin.|
|Although few children
are immigrants themselves, many have parents who
are immigrants. In fact, over 20% of New Englands
children live in households with an immigrant.
An examination of the household composition shows
New Englanders are twice as likely to live in
a mixed household, where there are
both natives and immigrants, than in a household
comprised of only immigrants.
Overall, 20% of New Englands population lives in a household with an immigrant.
|New Englands immigrant profile is changing rapidly. Since 1990, the number of immigrants has risen, and the share from the Caribbean, Central America, and Asia has grown. The shifting regional dominance stems from growing immigrant streams from these new regions and shrinking populations of European immigrants. Many of New Englands European immigrants are very old, and their populations are declining.|
|Nearly one-third of immigrants have less than the equivalent of a full high school education. This is double the share of the native-born population with that level of completed education. However, New England immigrants are more likely than natives to have completed an advanced degree.|
|The median household income for all U.S. immigrants in 2000 was $39,200. The median for New England immigrants was $42,000, seven percent higher. Within this population, however, there is a large difference between newer immigrants and more established immigrants. Immigrants who arrived in the U.S. after 1990 have a median household income of $37,500, compared with $45,210 for immigrants who arrived before 1980. Regardless of when they immigrated, the regions immigrants have household incomes below those of the native-born population.|
Over 1.6 million immigrants live in New England. Over 1.3 million came from foreign countries, and 300,000 came from U.S. Territories. At first glance, New Englands immigrants seem to be spread across the states in the same pattern as the overall population. For both immigrants and natives, Massachusetts contains the largest share of the population, followed by Connecticut.
*Technical definitions for who is considered an immigrant often vary. In this profile, immigrant includes most people born in foreign countries and all those born in U.S. Territories. In New England, nearly all U.S. Territory-born people are from Puerto Rico. For most socioeconomic indicators, the U.S. Territory-born population is more like to the foreign-born than native-born population. This profile makes one other distinction in whom is considered an immigrant. Not all people born in a foreign country are classified as immigrants. Anyone born abroad to American parents is treated in this profile as native, because for most socioeconomic indicators, this population is more like the native-born than the foreign-born population.
|A closer examination shows that, in addition to the over 900,000 immigrants living in Massachusetts and nearly 500,000 in Connecticut, there are about 120,000 immigrants living in Rhode Island. The number of immigrants in this small state is about the same number as the total number of immigrants in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont combined.|
|Massachusetts, home to a population that is 12% foreign-born and 2% U.S. Territory-born, has the highest concentration of immigrants in the region. Like the Bay State, Connecticut and Rhode Island both have higher concentrations of immigrants than the nation does as a whole.|
|Over 80 percent of native-born New Englanders live in middle- and upper-income census tracts. In contrast, only 60 percent of the foreign-born and 40 percent of the territory-born population lives in these tracts. Nearly one-third of New Englands territory-born population lives in a low-income census tract.|
|Nearly three-quarters of immigrants from the Caribbean and Central America live in low- and moderate-income census tracts. In contrast, this is true for only 12 percent of North American and 25 percent of European immigrants.|
|New Englands largest cities generally have high concentrations of immigrants. In Hartford, for example, immigrants account for a full 37 percent of the citys population. Similarly, immigrants in Providence, Bridgeport, and Stamford account for over 30 percent of the cities total populations.|
|Immigrants are more likely to settle in more populated areas. In the twelve New England cities with populations exceeding 120,000, over 25 percent of the inhabitants are immigrants. By contrast, in the smallest towns (those with populations under 10,000), only 7 percent of the population is not native-born.|
|The settlement patterns of New Englands immigrants vary significantly by country of origin. A comparison of the three largest groups, Portuguese, Canadians, and Dominicans, illustrates this variability. A large percentage of the regions Portuguese immigrants live in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island over 25 percent of all Portuguese live in the cities of Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts alone. By contrast, Canadians are spread evenly throughout New England. The five largest cities of residence for Canadian immigrants account for less than 9 percent of their total population. On the opposite end of the spectrum, immigrants from the Dominican Republic are highly concentrated in several municipalities 57 percent of Dominicans live in the cities of Lawrence, Providence, and Boston.|