Where Do Immigrants Live in the US?

Since the 2008 recession, the states with net-inflows of immigrants have changed dramatically from preceding years. So where are new immigrants moving to when they arrive in the U.S.? As a percentage of pre-existing immigrant populations, the biggest net gains are in the Eastern United States, specifically Washington, D.C., Florida, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.

That’s according to 2016 U.S. Census estimates of state populations. At the same time, except for D.C. in Florida, the net outflow of people living in these states exceeded the number of people moving in. In other words, immigrants are moving into states where Americans are moving out.

On the flip side, Arizona and Nevada are seeing many more people who were already in the U.S. move into these states than the number of immigrants moving in. This is a change from previous decades. Columnist and demographer Michael Barone has a suspicion why this is.

(I)t seems likely given the increasing share of total immigrants coming from Asia rather than Latin America that a large share of these immigrants are Asian and presumably somewhat higher skill, on average, than the Hispanic and mainly Mexican immigrants who surged into the southwestern states in previous decades.

In other words, higher-skilled workers are moving into states where high-skilled industries are operating.

See which other states are experiencing changes in both domestic and immigrant populations.

The Value of $100 in Every U.S. State

The Tax Foundation has issued its annual report on what $100 gets you in each of the 50 states. It’s a great reminder of the cheapest and costliest places to live, and also provides some additional insight into why a national minimum wage doesn’t really make sense.

The map shows what the value of $100 is in each state, so if a state lists a value of $101, you’re getting a 1 percent bump on your money. If a state lists the value as under $100, the cost of living there exceeds the value of the bacon you’re bringing home. The data are based on 2014 numbers recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Tax Foundation Value of $100 by State

As you can see, it really may be like living in paradise, but when it comes down to Hawaii’s value, $100 won’t get you very far. That’s the most expensive state in the nation. Residents of the District of Columbia, not technically a state, fare even worse, which is sad considering it doesn’t have the weather, the waves, or the way of life as Hawaii, but at least you can rub elbows with the people deciding how to spend dollars that were formerly yours.

Conversely, if you’re not making a lot of money in Mississippi, you may still be doing all right since $100 goes further there than in any other state in the nation. Similar circumstances for South Dakota, which is also sparsely populated — it’s 46th in population but 17th in size — so you could probably get a good deal on land.

As Alan Cole at the Tax Foundation explains it, the state-by-state differences are stark.

Regional price differences are strikingly large; real purchasing power is 36 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in the District of Columbia. In other words, by this measure, if you have $50,000 in after-tax income in Mississippi, you would have to have after-tax earnings of $68,000 in the District of Columbia just to afford the same overall standard of living.

So guess which state is more economical to live in, Nebraska or California? Yeah, we didn’t think you needed a cheat sheet for the answer to that. In all, one key to living large is to find the state with good salaries but not high costs of living.

Read more of the Tax Foundation’s report on the Value of $100 by State.