Latin American immigrants in Nassau County increase 19 percent

The immigrant population of Nassau County has increased by 46,000 (19 percent) from 238,414 to 292,000 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The overall number of foreign born have increased from 17.9 percent 21.2 percent of the population in Nassau County.

The top 10 countries of origin that account for almost 150,000 immigrants in Nassau County (or 51.7 percent) according to the 2012 census are El Salvador, India and China, Haiti, Jamaica.

Only a few Europeans are still moving to Nassau County from Italy, which is mainly due to the presence of immigrants from Italy. The 1950 census shows the vast majority of New York immigrants were from European countries, such as England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, USSR, Italy, Canada, and the other Americas.

When looking at the data from the 1960 census in comparison with the 2010 census, major changes in the make-up of the foreign born population become apparent. These changes can be attributed to the 1965 Immigration Act which abolished the National Origins Formula. The National Origins Formula had been designed to favor new immigrants based on existing population proportions. Today’s immigrant population is vastly different from that of 50 years ago with the majority of immigrants coming from Latin America in stead of Europe as they were in the mid twentieth century.

Latin America now accounts for the single biggest group of foreign-born residents in Nassau County being 51.7 percent of the total 290,000 immigrant population. This is consistent with the data from overall U.S. immigration which shows that immigrants from Latin America account for over 21 million (52.2 percent) of the nation’s 41 million foreign-born population. More than 11.5 million of these immigrant immigrants are from Mexico, while 2.5 million are from El Salvador and Cuba.

These figures are not a good basis for discussion about foreign-born peoples in, however. Nassau County and the United States as a whole, they should not be used to provide a conclusive analysis of immigrants due to the large margin of error reported by the Census Bureau in its data findings.

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