Columbus Foreign-Born Population and Comparison to Peers





Given that the 2017 demographic information was released yesterday, it’s time to revisit this comparison and update it with the new data.

First up, let’s take a look at foreign-born populations. I have looked at this topic some in the past, but I have never done a full-scale comparison for this topic.

Total Foreign-Born Population Rank by City 2000, 2010 and 2017
2000—————————————-2010———————————-2017
1. Chicago, IL: 628,903———–1. Chicago: 557,674—————1. Chicago: 563,688
2. San Jose, CA: 329,750——–2. San Jose: 366,194————-2. San Jose: 417,148
3. San Antonio, TX: 133,675—-3. San Antonio: 192,741———-3. San Antonio: 212,109
4. Austin, TX: 109,006————4. Austin: 148,431——————4. Austin: 177,844
5. Las Vegas, NV: 90,656——-5. Las Vegas: 130,503————-5. Charlotte: 147,074
6. Sacramento, CA: 82,616—–6. Chalotte: 106,047—————6. Las Vegas: 139,790
7. Portland, OR: 68,976———7. Sacramento: 96,105————-7. Sacramento: 111,904
8. Charlotte, NC: 59,849——–8. Columbus: 86,663—————-8. Columbus: 105,826
9. Minneapolis, MN: 55,475—–9. Portland: 83,026—————–9. Indianapolis: 89,465
10. Columbus: 47,713———–10. Indianapolis: 74,407———–10. Portland: 89,050
11. Milwaukee, WI: 46,122—–11. Nashville: 73,327—————11. Nashville: 86,271
12. Detroit, MI: 45,541———–12. Minneapolis: 57,846———–12. Minneapolis: 69,567
13. Providence, RI: 43,947—–13. Milwaukee: 57,222————-13. Orlando: 68,811
14. St. Paul, MN: 41,138——-14. Providence: 52,920————14. St. Paul: 64,056
15. Nashville, TN: 38,936——-15. St. Paul: 50,366—————-15. Milwaukee: 59,443
16. Indianapolis, IN: 36,067—-16. Orlando: 43,747—————-16. Providence: 54,520
17. Virginia Beach, VA: 28,276–17. Virginia Beach: 40,756—–17. Omaha: 51,041
18. Wichita, KS: 27,938———18. Omaha: 39,288—————18. Virginia Beach: 42,319
19. Orlando, FL: 26,741——–19. Wichita: 39,128—————–19. Detroit: 41,374
20. Omaha, NE: 25,687———-20. Kansas City: 35,532———20. Wichita: 40,427
21. Kansas City, MO: 25,632—21. Detroit: 34,307—————-21. Kansas City: 37,833
22. Cleveland: 21,372————22. Madison: 24,929————–22. Madison: 32,066
23. Grand Rapids, MI: 20,814—23. St. Louis: 23,011————23. Des Moines: 29,876
24. St Louis, MO: 19,542——–24. Lincoln: 22,214—————24. Pittsburgh:26,504
25. Pittsburgh, PA: 18,874——-25. Des Moines: 20,798——–25. Grand Rapids: 26,014
26. Madison, WI: 18,792———26. Pittsburgh: 18,698———–26. Lincoln: 25,689
27. Des Moines, IA: 15,713—–27. Cleveland: 17,739————27. St. Louis: 23,659
28. Lincoln, NE: 13,246———-28. Grand Rapids: 16,615——-28. Fort Wayne: 22,186
29. Cincinnati: 12,461————29. Cincinnati: 16,531————29. Cleveland: 21,992
30. Fort Wayne, IN: 10,187—–30. Fort Wayne: 15,286———30. Cincinnati: 19,085
31. Toledo: 9,475——————31. Toledo: 11,159—————31. Akron: 13,423
32. Akron: 6,911——————-32. Akron: 8,524——————-32. Toledo: 11,260
33. Dayton: 3,245—————–33. Dayton: 5,102——————33. Dayton: 6,743
34. Youngstown: 1,605———-34. Youngstown: 3,695———–34. Youngstown: 1,401

Here’s the 2000-2017 total change.

And the 2000-2017 change by %.

So Columbus has had above average total and % growth compared to its peers nationally since 2000. What about more recently?

Total change 2010-2017.

And the 2010-2017 change by %.

So now that we know how many foreign-born immigrants are arriving, let’s take a look at where they are coming from.

Total Foreign-Born Residents From Europe in 2000 and 2017
2000———————————————–2017
1. Chicago: 145,462———————1. Chicago: 96,656
2. San Jose: 21,904———————2. San Jose: 25,147
3. Portland: 17,572———————-3. Portland: 16,548
4. Las Vegas: 9,070———————4. Austin: 13,337
5. Cleveland: 8,796———————-5. Charlotte: 9,775
6. St. Louis: 8,543———————–6. Las Vegas: 8,536
7. San Antonio: 8,323——————7. San Antonio: 7,852
8. Sacramento: 8,204——————8. Virginia Beach: 7,368
9. Milwaukee: 7,841——————–9. Columbus: 6,860
10. Charlotte: 7,487——————–10. Indianapolis: 6,344
11. Austin: 7,474————————11. Sacramento: 6,008
12. Pittsburgh: 7,413——————-12. Nashville: 5,778
13. Columbus: 7,017——————-13. Orlando: 5,516
14. Indianapolis: 6,543—————-14. Minneapolis: 5,477
15. Virginia Beach: 6,333————-15. Milwaukee: 4,388
16. Detroit: 5,600————————16. Pittsburgh: 4,265
17. Minneapolis: 5,409—————–17. Providence: 4,022
18. Providence: 5,126——————18. Lincoln: 3,908
19. Nashville: 4,859——————–19. St. Louis: 3,680
20. Cincinnati: 3,851——————-20. Cincinnati: 3,556
21. Grand Rapids: 3,396————–21. Omaha: 3,483
22. Omaha: 3,320———————–22. Cleveland: 3,399
23. St. Paul: 3,255———————-23. Kansas City: 3,362
24. Des Moines: 3,216—————-24. Madison: 2,867
25. Kansas City: 2,985—————-25. St. Paul: 2,394
26. Madison: 2,871——————–26. Detroit: 2,393
27. Lincoln: 2,701———————-27. Fort Wayne: 2,388
28. Akron: 2,687———————–28. Des Moines: 2,156
29. Orlando: 2,509——————–29. Wichita: 1,660
30. Fort Wayne: 2,076—————30. Grand Rapids: 1,517
31. Toledo: 2,020———————31. Akron: 1,286
32. Wichita: 2,004———————32. Toledo: 1,242
33. Dayton: 901———————–33. Dayton: 877
34. Youngstown: 870—————-34. Youngstown: 173

Columbus had a high number of Europeans versus most peers, but almost all cities saw drops in this demographic between 2000 and 2017, some quite drastic. Columbus’ drop was relatively minor.

Total Foreign-born Population from Asia 2000 and 2017
2000————————————————–2017
1. San Jose: 182,712—————————1. San Jose: 262,208
2. Chicago: 112,932—————————-2. Chicago: 140,434
3. Sacramento: 40,253————————-3. Austin: 57,584
4. Portland: 26,271——————————4. Sacramento: 53,731
5. Austin: 25,036——————————–5. Charlotte: 46,698
6. St. Paul: 23,245——————————6. Columbus: 43,706
7. Columbus: 22,354—————————7. San Antonio: 40,642
8. Minneapolis: 17,376————————8. Portland: 38,224
9. Las Vegas: 17,062————————–9. Las Vegas: 35,087
10. San Antonio: 15,840———————-10. St. Paul: 34,678
11. Charlotte: 15,734————————–11. Nashville: 26,155
12. Virginia Beach: 15,176——————-12. Indianapolis: 23,934
13. Detroit: 15,114——————————13. Virginia Beach: 23,625
14. Nashville: 12,573—————————14. Madison: 18,795
15. Milwaukee: 12,114————————-15. Detroit: 18,681
16. Wichita: 10,826—————————–16. Milwaukee: 17,838
17. Madison: 9,736—————————–17. Minneapolis: 15,967
18. Indianapolis: 9,190————————-18. Pittsburgh: 15,873
19. Pittsburgh: 7,938—————————-19. Wichita: 15,466
20. Providence: 7,871————————–20. Omaha: 14,504
21. Kansas City: 7,312————————-21. Lincoln: 13,804
22. Lincoln: 6,691——————————-22. Kansas City: 12,043
23. St. Louis: 6,425—————————–23. Fort Wayne: 10,972
24. Omaha: 6,302——————————-24. Des Moines: 10,691
25. Cleveland: 6,213—————————25. St. Louis: 9,632
26. Des Moines: 5,239————————26. Orlando: 8,122
27. Orlando: 4,530—————————–27. Akron: 7,862
28. Cincinnati: 4,326————————–28. Cleveland: 7,450
29. Toledo: 3,847——————————29. Providence: 6,668
30. Grand Rapids: 3,206———————30. Grand Rapids: 6,585
31. Akron: 3,099——————————-31. Toledo: 6,196
32. Fort Wayne: 2,792————————32. Cincinnati: 6,002
33. Dayton: 903———————————33. Dayton: 1,614
34. Youngstown: 338————————–34. Youngstown: 448

Columbus ranks even higher with its foreign-born Asian population.

Total Foreign-born Population from Africa 2000 and 2017
2000—————————————————2017
1. Minneapolis: 12,765——————–1. Columbus: 33,607
2. Chicago: 12,613————————-2. Chicago: 26,995
3. Columbus: 9,530————————3. Minneapolis: 25,286
4. San Jose: 5,189————————-4. Nashville: 18,387
5. Charlotte: 4,722————————–5. Charlotte: 18,234
6. St. Paul: 4,697—————————-6. Indianapolis: 17,452
7. Nashville: 4,183————————–7. St. Paul: 15,926
8. Detroit: 3,249—————————–8. Omaha: 7,496
9. Providence: 3,138———————–9. San Jose: 7,400
10. Indianapolis: 2,650——————–10. Portland: 7,059
11. Portland: 2,430————————-11. Austin: 6,469
12. Austin: 2,263—————————-12. Des Moines: 6,124
13. Kansas City: 2,192——————–13. San Antonio: 5,718
14. Cincinnati: 1,781———————–14. Kansas City: 5,051
15. St. Louis: 1,500————————-15. St. Louis: 4,977
16. Omaha: 1,497—————————16. Providence: 4,697
17. San Antonio: 1,358——————–17. Milwaukee: 4,423
18. Milwaukee: 1,332———————-18. Cincinnati: 4,207
19. Cleveland: 1,075———————–19. Grand Rapids: 3,754
20. Sacramento: 1,051——————–20. Sacramento: 2,955
21. Des Moines: 1,038——————–21. Pittsburgh: 2,731
22. Madison: 991—————————22. Cleveland: 2,728
23. Orlando: 983—————————23. Orlando: 2,552
24. Wichita: 946—————————-24. Akron: 2,311
25. Las Vegas: 916———————–25. Madison: 2,180
26. Pittsburgh: 905————————26. Wichita: 2,142
27. Virginia Beach: 840——————27. Las Vegas: 1,846
28. Grand Rapids: 718——————-28. Lincoln: 1,680
29. Toledo: 638—————————-29. Dayton: 1,397
30. Lincoln: 637—————————30. Detroit: 1,082
31. Dayton: 522—————————-31. Virginia Beach: 847
32. Fort Wayne: 384———————-32. Fort Wayne: 628
33. Akron: 197—————————–33. Toledo: 615
34. Youngstown: 50———————-34. Youngstown: 0

Columbus has claimed the number 1 spot in its foreign-born African population, passing previous top city Minneapolis.

And finally, the total foreign-born population from the Americas in 2000 and 2017
2000—————————————————-2017
1. Chicago: 357,235————————–1. Chicago: 297,926
2. San Jose: 117,989————————2. San Antonio: 157,629
3. San Antonio: 107,906——————–3. San Jose: 120,657
4. Austin: 73,935——————————4. Austin: 99,482
5. Las Vegas: 63,277————————5. Las Vegas: 93,693
6. Charlotte: 31,625————————–6. Charlotte: 72,211
7. Sacramento: 28,927———————-7. Orlando: 52,421
8. Providence: 27,649———————–8. Sacramento: 42,632
9. Milwaukee: 24,781————————9. Indianapolis: 41,554
10. Detroit: 21,527—————————10. Providence: 39,093
11. Portland: 20,939————————-11. Nashville: 35,719
12. Minneapolis: 19,648——————–12. Milwaukee: 32,630
13. Orlando: 18,639————————-13. Portland: 25,417
14. Indianapolis: 17,530——————–14. Omaha: 25,385
15. Nashville: 17,125————————15. Minneapolis: 22,688
16. Omaha: 14,467————————–16. Columbus: 21,578
17. Wichita: 13,988—————————17. Wichita: 20,983
18. Grand Rapids: 13,477——————18. Detroit: 19,143
19. Kansas City: 12,948———————19. Kansas City: 17,377
20. St. Paul: 9,804—————————-20. Grand Rapids: 14,158
21. Columbus: 8,596————————21. St. Paul: 10,878
22. Des Moines: 6,201———————-22. Des Moines: 10,627
23. Virginia Beach: 5,754——————23. Virginia Beach: 10,415
24. Cleveland: 5,192————————24. Cleveland: 8,386
25. Madison: 5,080————————–25. Fort Wayne: 8,198
26. Fort Wayne: 4,930———————-26. Madison: 8,031
27. Lincoln: 3,106—————————-27. Lincoln: 6,190
28. St. Louis: 2,961————————–28. Cincinnati: 5,320
29. Toledo: 2,942—————————-29. St. Louis: 5,008
30. Pittsburgh: 2,463————————30. Pittsburgh: 3,443
31. Cincinnati: 2,432————————31. Toledo: 3,207
32. Dayton: 919——————————32. Dayton: 2,855
33. Akron: 891——————————-33. Akron: 1,699
34. Youngstown: 333———————–34. Youngstown: 780

Columbus does the worst with this group, but even here it moved up 5 spots in the rankings.

The rest of the foreign-born population is made up of small groups of people from Oceania- or basically island nations.



An Examination of Columbus’ International Migration

First, let’s take a look at the total of international immigrants becoming legal citizens each year in the Columbus metro.

Online Graphing
Graph maker

As can be seen, the totals seem to be on a trend of increasing over time, but not significantly.
The 5 year combined totals are:
2004-2008: 24,377
2009-2013: 25,418

But where are all these people coming from? Luckily, we have that answer, and it may surprise you. I added up the total for the entire 10 year period, as well as broken down into the 5-year periods for all nations.

2004-2008 Nations of Origin for International Immigrants to the Columbus Metro
(All Nations with at least 150 Immigrants to Columbus)
1. Somalia: 4,322
2. India: 2,080
3. Ghana: 1,667
4. China: 1,389
5. Ethiopia: 1,069
6. Kenya: 922
7. Mexico: 556
8. Sierra Leon: 449
9. Philippines: 434
10. Nigeria: 400
11. Canada: 389
12. Mauritania: 377
13. South Korea: 355
14. United Kingdom: 347
15. Vietnam: 347
16. Russia: 313
17. Ukraine: 306
18. Liberia: 304
19. Morocco: 298
20. Pakistan: 287
21. Jordan: 284
22. Egypt: 245
23. Guatemala: 222
24. Bangladesh: 221
25. Senegal: 214
26. Taiwan: 201
27. Japan: 198
28. Guinea: 191
29. Dominican Republic: 176
30. Iran: 174
31. Colombia: 170
32. Peru: 158

Somalia may be expected in its very dominant position at #1, but the list becomes decidedly mixed the further down you go.

2009-2013 Nations of Origin for International Immigrants to the Columbus Metro
1. Somalia: 2,988
2. India: 2,267
3. Ghana: 1,903
4. China: 1,299
5. Ethiopia: 1,233
6. Kenya: 1,030
7. Iraq: 729
8. Mexico: 622
9. Bhutan: 573
10. Philippines: 502
11. Nigeria: 431
12. Sierra Leon: 424
13. Canada: 379
14. Pakistan: 375
15. Jordan: 358
16. Nepal: 352
17. Senegal: 350
18. Morocco: 330
19. Burma: 328
20. South Korea: 320
21. Dominican Republic: 306
21. Mauritania: 300
22. Guinea: 291
23. United Kingdom: 280
24. Cameroon: 277
25. Bangladesh: 262
26. Vietnam: 255
27. Liberia: 233
28. Eritrea: 232
29. Egypt: 229
30. Russia: 211
31. Iran: 207
32. Japan: 184
33. Ukraine: 161
34. Algeria: 153

The top of the list didn’t change significantly in the most recent 5 years as far as the order goes. New countries seemed to pop up out of nowhere, like Bhutan and Nepal, and more nations had at least 150 immigrants than the earlier period.

Finally, let’s look at the top immigrant origins for the entire 10-year period. For all nations that provided at least 300 immigrants.
1. Somalia: 7,320
2. India: 4,347
3. Ghana: 3,570
4. China: 2,688
5. Ethiopia: 2,302
6. Kenya: 1,952
7. Mexico: 1,178
8. Philippines: 936
9. Sierra Leon: 873
10. Nigeria: 831
11. Iraq: 790
12. Canada: 768
13. South Korea: 675
14. Pakistan: 662
15. Jordan: 642
16. Mauritania: 637
17. Morocco: 628
18. United Kingdom: 627
19. Vietnam: 602
20. Bhutan: 573
21. Senegal: 564
22. Liberia: 537
23. Russia: 524
24. Bangladesh: 483
25. Dominican Republic: 482
26. Guinea: 482
27. Egypt: 474
28. Ukraine: 467
29. Cameroon: 419
30. Nepal: 388
31. Japan: 382
32. Iran: 381
33. Eritrea: 365
34. Burma: 349
35. Taiwan: 331
36. Peru: 305
37. Colombia: 304

Do these immigration stats surprise you?