Columbus Foreign-Born Population and Comparison to Peers

The Census just came out with 2016 demographic numbers for cities. Given that more than half the decade is over, it’s a good point to look at where Columbus stands relative to its national/Midwest peers.

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 2016
2000—————————————-2010———————————-2016
1. Chicago, IL: 628,903———–1. Chicago: 557,674—————1. Chicago: 559,623
2. San Jose, CA: 329,750——–2. San Jose: 366,194————-2. San Jose: 402,776
3. San Antonio, TX: 133,675—-3. San Antonio: 192,741———-3. San Antonio: 219,520
4. Austin, TX: 109,006————4. Austin: 148,431——————4. Austin: 166,877
5. Las Vegas, NV: 90,656——-5. Las Vegas: 130,503————-5. Charlotte: 138,097
6. Sacramento, CA: 82,616—–6. Chalotte: 106,047—————6. Las Vegas: 137,583
7. Portland, OR: 68,976———7. Sacramento: 96,105————-7. Sacramento: 112,901
8. Charlotte, NC: 59,849——–8. Columbus: 86,663—————-8. Columbus: 101,300
9. Minneapolis, MN: 55,475—–9. Portland: 83,026—————–9. Portland: 87,599
10. Columbus: 47,713———–10. Indianapolis: 74,407———–10. Nashville: 82,505
11. Milwaukee, WI: 46,122—–11. Nashville: 73,327—————11. Indianapolis: 82,207
12. Detroit, MI: 45,541———–12. Minneapolis: 57,846———–12. Orlando: 64,369
13. Providence, RI: 43,947—–13. Milwaukee: 57,222————-13. Minneapolis: 63,585
14. St. Paul, MN: 41,138——-14. Providence: 52,920————14. St. Paul: 60,909
15. Nashville, TN: 38,936——-15. St. Paul: 50,366—————-15. Milwaukee: 58,300
16. Indianapolis, IN: 36,067—-16. Orlando: 43,747—————-16. Providence: 51,290
17. Virginia Beach, VA: 28,276–17. Virginia Beach: 40,756—–17. Omaha: 47,566
18. Orlando, FL: 26,741———18. Omaha: 39,288—————18. Virginia Beach: 45,650
19. Omaha, NE: 25,687———19. Kansas City: 35,532———19. Detroit: 39,555
20. Kansas City, MO: 25,632—20. Detroit: 34,307—————-20. Kansas City: 38,564
21. Cleveland: 21,372————21. St. Louis: 23,011————–21. Pittsburgh: 26,604
22. Grand Rapids, MI: 20,814–22. Pittsburgh: 18,698————22. Cleveland: 21,336
23. St Louis, MO: 19,542——-23. Cleveland: 17,739————-23. Grand Rapids: 20,270
24. Pittsburgh, PA: 18,874—–24. Grand Rapids: 16,615——–24. St. Louis: 19,245
25. Cincinnati: 12,461———–25. Cincinnati: 16,531————-25. Cincinnati: 15,625
26. Toledo: 9,475—————–26. Toledo: 11,559—————–26. Akron: 14,441
27. Akron: 6,911——————27. Akron: 8,524——————–27. Toledo: 8,830
28. Dayton: 3,245—————-28. Dayton: 5,102——————-28. Dayton: 7,058
29. Youngstown: 1,605———29. Youngstown: 3,695————29. Youngstown: 1,125

Here’s the 2000-2016 total change.

And the 2000-2016 change by %.

So Columbus has an above average total and growth compared to its peers nationally.

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?