2nd Quarter 2011

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Davidson presents a unique puzzle. It is by far the state's leading recipient of immigrants.

Recent Immigration Patterns

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Numerous factors explain where immigrants chose to locate within the state. One general pattern is that immigration tends to rise with county income. Wealthier counties attract more immigrants, as shown in the graph of immigration levels against Tennessee county incomes. A second pattern is industry-related, as counties with large food-processing and agricultural sectors typically gain more immigrant workers. This explains most of the counties with unusually high immigration rates, such as Bedford, Warren, and Hamblen. Davidson presents a unique puzzle. It is by far the state's leading recipient of immigrants. To an extent this reflects a third pattern, the development of networks of immigration in which new generations choose to locate near existing immigrant communities with which they have ties. But there are clearly idiosyncratic factors affecting immigration, as indeed there are throughout the state.

Immigration to Tennessee is growing relative to the rest of the U.S., even if the state is not seeing the absolute levels experienced in other areas of America. Most immigrants are settling in a handful of urban counties and are responding to job opportunities available to them. Though generally not included in discussions of Tennessee and the global economy, immigration is without doubt another aspect of the state's deepening ties with that economy.

[continued: TN international trade report »]

 

does immigration follow wealth?[larger view]