Most Common Country of Origin of Immigrants in the United States

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 1,031,631 people became Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) of the United States in 2012. Many of them (146,406) come from Mexico, the most common country of origin of permanent immigrants in most of the U.S. states. But what happens if you don't take take Mexico into account? The infographic below represents each of the 50 states as the flag of the country the most of its immigrants come from (excluding Mexico).
Is this what you were expecting? As you can see, the most popular countries are India (19 states), the Philippines (7 states) and Burma/Myanmar (5 states).
So, now, you may be wondering why I decided to take Mexico out of the picture. The infographic below will give you the answers: it shows the most common country of origin of Legal Permanent Immigrants in each U.S. state (including Mexico). 
As you can see, Mexico is by far the most popular country (27 states), followed by India (7 states).
If you focus on the countries you would have never guessed, it's not that hard to understand why they are there: most of them (Burma, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Iraq and Somalia) are the countries of origin of political refugees who were granted asylum.
P.S.: Thanks to Ben Blatt for the inspiration.


  1. The artwork is nice and I’m sure that the (ironically-named) Department of Homeland Security was more than happy to supply Mr. Cavaggion with information concerning his research but, interestingly enough, this innocuous, politically-correct, non-issue article automatically, by its very title, begs the fiery question “Well, what about the ones who AREN’T legal?”

    Does this man not realize that the response which will automatically scream through the minds of 95% of Americans after reading NO FARTHER than the title, is going to unanimously be “What about the illegal ALIENS who have been pouring through our southern border? Where are THEY from and where are THEY going!”

    Well, the simple answer to the first of those two questions (the countries of origin of the terrorists who have ALSO taken advantage of Obama’s ‘open-door’ policy, along with THEIR U.S. destinations, is not known) is Mexico with a mix of Central American countries, thanks to the efforts of U.S. Government officials who, according to news sources named in social media (mainstream media failed/’forgot’ to mention this) travelled to Central America last spring and ‘educated’ the populace about (a) sending unattended children across our southern border and (b) how to apply for aid in the form of shelter, food, medical, and educational assistance once the children arrived.

    Now, concerning the second question, the quickest and simplest way to show the DESTINATIONS of all the illegal aliens would be to just simply drape the Mexican flag across the ‘Lower Forty-eight’, our entire continental United States.

    Whether or not it was the conscious intent of the author to do so, in my mind’s eye all Americans are slyly being teased and taunted by the fact that this article is actually a reverse-mirror effect concerning the information we REALLY want to know, information which this article is quite obviously NOT talking about and not talking about LOUDLY!

    Do other Americans feel the same way after they have read this article, or am I possibly out of touch with reality? Well, it doesn’t really matter either way. I have only one thing left to say:

    God Bless our First Amendment rights!!!

    1. Dear teepeewiper,

      The point of this article was just to show the country of origin of legal immigrants, both because this data is publicly available and because I saw many countries I wasn't expecting to be there, therefore I thought that my work was worth sharing.

      Also, I think that, supposing that the data related to illegal immigrants was available, an article talking about this issue would have "teased and taunted" the Americans much more than the one you just read.

      I purposely wrote an objective article since this is what I do and what I like to do: collect and visualize data.

      Also, I would like to remind you that we are all immigrants.

  2. Good article and great answer Giorgio Cavaggion!! The only people who really are from this land are the indians, apart from them -We are all immigrants- Bravo!!!

    1. actually the Indians are immigrants, just been here longer.

    2. Right, so giorgio And meretsol are: Full of Sh!t !!

  3. Government can be get important steps to stop illegal immigrant however it is the big problem for develop states

    Canada work permit

  4. This is great work Giorgio.

    This viz looks at data of just one year, and skews the result in favor of particular countries. It will be interesting to see what will be the result if we look at data from past 10 years.

    Also, an option to remove some of the type of permanent residents(ex. amnesty) will be great

    1. Thank you! And great suggestions, I will have a look and see if more data is available.

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