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Interactive maps: Minnesota's newest citizens, where they are from and where they've settled

To go straight to the maps: Where our newest citizens are from and where they have settled.

Close to half of the foreign born in the United States are naturalized citizens. In 2010, the United States naturalized more than 600,000 legal permanent residents and denied close to 60,000 petitions for naturalization.

Naturalizations decreased by 40 percent between 2008 and 2010, but that number is a bit misleading. There was a huge spike between 2007 and 2008, which is explained in a Migration Policy Institute report:

One was the 2008 presidential elections, which immigrant advocacy groups used in their ongoing campaigns to promote naturalization. Another was the 80 percent increase in naturalization fees (from $330 to $595) scheduled for the end of July 2007 and announced in January 2007. Given the delay between application submission and when the approved applicant takes the oath, many applicants who submitted their applications in 2007 naturalized in 2008 or later.

Half of those naturalized in 2010 lived in California, New York, Florida and Texas. Roughly 9,000 call Minnesota home.

I've created two maps using Department of Homeland Security data from Fiscal Year 2010. Each illuminating Minnesota's diversity. It's small "d" diversity, I know, but still.

Where Minnesota's recently naturalized citizens come from
The first map shows the birth places of Minnesota's newest naturalized citizens. Click on any dot and see how many of the new Minnesotans were born there. National totals are there too. Here are the top 10 birth countries:

  • Somalia: 2,021
  • Ethiopia: 813
  • India: 586
  • Laos: 567
  • Liberia: 444
  • Mexico: 370
  • Vietnam: 291
  • China: 246
  • Nigeria: 192
  • Kenya: 180

It should surprise nobody to see Somalia at the top. Of the 5,728 Somalis naturalized in the United States in 2010, 35 percent of them live in Minnesota.

On the other end of the spectrum are newly naturalized Mexicans. Of the 67,000 naturalized in the United States in 2010, not even 1 percent were in Minnesota.

These tallies include people from countries the United States is at war with. In 2010, 12 of the 2,230 Afghans who became citizens were in Minnesota and 40 of the 3,489 Iraqis were here.

Where Minnesota's recently naturalized citizens are living
The second map I put together shows where in the state the newly naturalized Minnesotan's are living. Click on any county shaded red to see a breakdown of birth region and the cities that claim them now. (Counties not shaded had no newly naturalized citizens.)

Close to 8,000 of them lived in the metro area, which is treated as one cluster in the DHS data, so I omitted it from the map. Here's the metro breakdown of birth regions:

  • Europe: 687
  • Asia and Oceanic: 2,575
  • Africa: 3,825
  • Mexico: 252
  • Other North America: 269
  • South America: 307

Rochester tops the outstate cities with 366 newly naturalized citizens in 2010, mostly from Asia and Africa. St. Cloud comes in at a distant second, with 171 people, again, mostly from Asia and Africa.

Owatonna jumps out as a place where nearly all of its 50 residents naturalized last year were from one region: Africa.

Enjoy the maps and feel free to report back and tell me what you found. Happy clicking!

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Comments (2)

"132 of the people naturalized in Minnesota in 2010 were born in Canada." I wonder why they left, Canada has a stronger dollar and national health care. The acronym DHS (Dept of Homeland Security) always confuses me for a second. I'm always thinking Department of Human Services.

This is very interesting, but I'm confused by the second map. Why are only certain cities, and only in the highlighted counties, featured? MPLS and St Paul can't be clicked on, that I see - and Dakota county has zero????

Can someone explain?