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Total United States Immigration by Country

Between 1820 and 2017, 83 million people were granted lawful permanent residence to the United States. Try and name the 25 modern day countries that sent the most of these immigrants.
Quiz by relessness
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First submittedOctober 25, 2016
Last updatedJuly 2, 2019
Times taken23,804
Rating4.81
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Number
Peak
Country
8,833,263
1990s
Mexico
7,334,687
1880s
Germany
5,539,088
1880s
United Kingdom
5,491,237
1900s
Italy
4,861,870
1920s
Canada
4,807,674
1850s
Ireland
4,035,125
1900s
Russia
2,635,499
2010s
China
2,432,810
2000s
Philippines
1,883,155
1910s
Austria
1,870,751
2010s
India
1,695,403
1900s
Hungary
1,565,472
2010s
Cuba
Number
Peak
Country
1,508,726
2010s
Dominican Republic
1,295,416
1880s
Sweden
1,151,090
1980s
South Korea
1,146,399
2010s
Vietnam
919,818
1920s
Poland
905,765
1850s
France
902,882
1980s
Jamaica
867,970
1990s
El Salvador
794,167
2000s
Colombia
778,846
1880s
Norway
755,353
2000s
Haiti
750,900
1910s
Greece
+18
level ∞
Oct 25, 2016
Fun facts:

  • Between 1850 and 1900, about half the population of Ireland emigrated to the U.S.
  • U.S. immigration was almost nothing between 1931-1945, and remained low until the 1980s
  • Most countries on this list have sent their population in one or two giant waves. However, immigration from France has remained remarkably consistent from 1830 to the present day.
+2
level 58
Jan 21, 2017
neat observation re france
+4
level 51
Feb 15, 2017
Ireland did that because of the Potato Famine... *know-it-all*
+4
level 75
Jul 2, 2019
Ireland's population still hasn't fully recovered
+2
level 78
Jul 2, 2019
The next biggest shift in population looks like Austria and Hungary where the numbers in this quiz are about 20% of the current population.Also it's surprising that Brazil doesn't make the list.
+1
level 80
Oct 25, 2016
Nice quiz. Most of my time was gone before I paid any attention to the peak dates, that would have helped!
+3
level 72
Oct 25, 2016
When the US purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, did those newly Americanised inhabitants get classed as being "sent" to the US?
+3
level 47
Oct 25, 2016
I have no idea
+3
level 76
Oct 26, 2016
Compared to the number in the quiz, their numbers were small - in the neighborhood of 50 to 55 thousand. At the time of transfer there were about 2500 Russians inhabitants working in the fur trade, but most of those went back to Russia.
+1
level 77
Jan 13, 2019
There were about 10,000 people living in areas under the control of the Russian fur company, and an estimated 50,000 Inuit living in other areas of Alaska. Most of the 10,000 Russian subjects chose to leave and go to Russia shortly after the purchase. The Inuit in other areas I'm guessing don't count, but maybe the small number of Russians that chose to remain would.
+1
level 63
Nov 6, 2016
Nice quiz, thanks!
+2
level 53
Dec 15, 2016
Amazing how you can get completely disconnected from your roots within a few generations... A lot of Americans do not identify at all with the nation of their grandparents. And somehow, some of them do, like the Irish and Italians... why is that?
+6
level 67
Jan 21, 2017
Identity does not necessarily concern a nation at all. Italians and Irish were looked down upon when they first began to emigrate en masse, so they were sort of forced to develop an identity distinct from the "white" America of the time.
+1
level 76
Jan 21, 2017
Some of us are totally mutts and have too many to celebrate each individually. My grandchildren are mixed with Irish, Scots, Welsh, German, and English from our side, and from their other parents have added Polish, Italian and Swiss, Norwegian and Swedish, and Russian. I'm happy that some of them continue to practice specific identity traditions, especially at Christmas, but some of our "American" traditions are actually from other countries, such as the Christmas tree or singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve. And don't forget, on March 17th, everyone's Irish!
+2
level 19
Sep 22, 2017
Irish and Italians were not considered white, so they didn't adapt to a lot of the american culture. and since the country has been around since 1770's, i guess so many people don't know their roots. I usually assume they're british.
+1
level 61
Aug 18, 2019
you are using "the country has been around since 1770's" as an argument NOT to know their roots?? I really thought that sentence would have ended differently. Less than 250 years, that is only a couple of generations!
+1
level 30
Aug 29, 2019
The Irish weren't considered white. Seriously
+2
level 61
Aug 29, 2019
Blox is right. The Irish weren't considered white. Look it up.
+2
level 57
Aug 29, 2019
A generation is 125 years now? Who knew?
+1
level 27
Jan 21, 2017
Who knows? Life is strange...
+1
level 48
Jan 21, 2017
Interesting quiz, nice to see Vietnam and Cuba repairing foreign relations.
+8
level 47
Jan 21, 2017
I thought most Cubans were fleeing the communist regime. Not exactly there to repair foreign relations.
+1
level 67
Jan 21, 2017
Oops - that response fails both math and social studies class.
+5
level 46
Jan 21, 2017
I think about 97 of those were actually just to play in the MLB.
+2
level 70
Aug 29, 2019
tshalla - would you like to elaborate?
+2
level 67
Aug 29, 2019
I think I read relessness in a way he/she didn't intend. I read it as "most Cubans" whereas I now think what was meant was "most Cubans who went to the U.S.." If that's right, then that changes the math (and the social studies) considerably. I was remarking that by far the majority of Cubans stayed in Cuba. I think I got it wrong. Apologies.
+1
level 70
Aug 29, 2019
Thank you.
+2
level 40
Jan 21, 2017
Dangit, I missed 'Nam
+2
level 55
Mar 8, 2017
wow, that's a large group of El Salvadorese people living in the US for such a tiny country!
+4
level 43
Apr 13, 2017
I missed Canada. Kill meh.
+2
level 19
Sep 22, 2017
Eh!
+6
level 52
Dec 16, 2017
This is the best website.
+1
level 53
Dec 30, 2017
I missed Poland!! *facepalm*
+6
level 8
Feb 5, 2018
So many Mexican Americans working and contributing to the American fabric of life. Makes me proud. Donald, do you do these quizzes?
+8
level 60
May 10, 2018
yes, LEGAL immigrants are a wonderful addition to the United States. As Donald has said repeatedly.
+13
level 77
Jan 13, 2019
What difference do you think it actually makes? Very large numbers of these people just came back when it was possible just to come... and stayed. Passports didn't start to become necessary for international travel until the mid-20th century. Anyone could come in. The first United States immigration law was not passed until 1875, and that one only barred Chinese contract laborers from entering the country. It would be decades before they started barring people from entering for any reason other than being Chinese. But seriously, what difference does it really make? People who talk about LAWFUL immigration are so full of hooey. All of these people just want fewer brown people, period. If any of these hypocrites gave a hoot about the law do you think they would be supporting a guy whose fortune came to him through defrauding the US government to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars? Who regularly attacks the FBI? Who in an unindicted co-conspirator in multiple felonies?
+6
level 53
Apr 10, 2019
The law is important. That's why we need to start deporting or imprisoning people who break the law. Driving over the speed limit? You should do hard prison time. Because it's the law. Embezzled money from your corporation? You should be exiled to a desert island for the rest of your life. Because the law is important! LOL thats the joke.
+4
level 65
Jul 17, 2019
Sorry to see you spouting that nonsense, Kalbahamut. For one thing: you are simply wrong: immigration was controlled long before the mid-20th century, with varying levles of success (not unlike now). Ellis Island, for instance, was active during the one of the busiest eras of U.S. immigration, from 1892 to 1924. For a long time "illegal immigration" was relatively low and a net benefit for the country. That changed with the heavy immigration we started seeing in the 1990s after Reagan's amnesty. At that time, there were about 3 million illegals in the U.S. Today, there are about 12 million, with MIT estimating that number to be woefully low, by as much as half. Illegal immigration became a net drain. The U.S. is one of the few developed countries that still grants birthright citizenship, an enormous draw to immigrants. Long before Trump made stopping illegals a cornerstone of his administration, Presidents like Obama and Clinton made it clear that immigration law must be enforced.
+5
level 77
Jul 23, 2019
Nothing I said was wrong. You know that 1892 is a bigger number than 1875, right? And where in my comment did I say or imply that Trump was the first president to enforce immigration laws? Obama was way more successful at deporting people than Trump was. All I said was that the racists who support Trump, a known criminal, and try to insist that all they really care about is the LAW, are transparent hypocrites. They don't care about the law at all and this is clear.
+7
level 77
Jul 23, 2019
... and racists and xenophobes and hypocritical 3rd-generation nativists have been complaining about foreigners and immigration forever. They've always painted newcomers or minorities as lazy, disease-ridden, criminal job-stealers and a drain on the economy or a threat to the culture. In the US they have acted this way toward the Irish in the 1850s, then the Irish acted this way toward Italians in the 1900s, and now Irish and Italian Americans act this way toward Mexicans today. Saudis act this way toward Bengalis. The English act this way toward Romanians. Romanians act this way toward Turks and gypsies. Turks act this way toward Syrians and Kurds and Armenians. These people have always existed and existed everywhere. They've always been ignorant and they've always been wrong, and as long as there have been politicians they've always had their ignorance and fears and hatreds exploited by cynical opportunistic demagogues.
+1
level 67
Aug 29, 2019
well said.
+2
level 15
Aug 29, 2019
Yes, I have done for years but I have only just got up to the level where you are allowed to comment.
+1
level 77
Aug 31, 2019
I wish that Twitter would require users to get to JetPunk level 15 before they were allowed to tweet. The real president would never make the cut.
+2
level 57
Aug 29, 2019
Kinda missing africans from this list. I guess those who arrived through slave trade either weren't people or weren't lawful.
+1
level 62
Aug 29, 2019
Or they didn't keep thorough records.
+1
level 44
Aug 30, 2019
The slave trade was over by 1820, so they don't count for purposes of this quiz
+1
level 59
Aug 29, 2019
"countries that sent the most of these immigrants" sounds as if the governments of those countries actively pursued migration to the US. I'm pretty sure the migrants went to the US for other reasons. I think it would sound more realistic if the sentence were worded "countries where the most of these immigrants came from." I admit the current wording isn't entirely wrong, it just sounds funny.
+1
level 64
Aug 29, 2019
I am afraid that Austria and Hungary, peaking in 1910s, still stand for the territories that were AT THAT TIME part of the Habsburg Empire. Therefore, including Czech Republic, Slovakia, part of Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, part of Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, part of Italy...
+1
level 49
Aug 29, 2019
Funny how the Irish people still identify by their roots, but those descended from Brits don’t at all.
+2
level 57
Aug 29, 2019
this quiz automatically gets five stars simply for using a picture of Salma Hayek.
+2
level 38
Aug 29, 2019
For some reason I thought that the peak immigration from Cuba would have been in the early '60s (when Castro took over) or the '80s (with the expulsion of those whom Castro determined were radicals and convicts).