How international is your city?

Devon Street in the North of Chicago is a flurry of color. Shop display windows feature the newest sari fashions, glittering glass bangles, jootis, and other South Asian wares. Occasionally, you catch the smell of kabobs roasting in the tandoor.

These types of cultural enclaves are sprinkled across America, and brimming with immigrants who add significant economic and cultural value to their cities. Kyle Walker, assistant professor of geography at Texas Christian University, has mapped these immigrant communities in a fittingly colorful way.

Using census tract data, Walker represents the concentration of America’s immigrant population as dots, colored according to their country of origin (shown in key at left). What results is a unique mix of colors—an immigrant fingerprint of each city, showing where its immigrant residents are from and where they currently live.

Take the map of Chicago below. Immigrants from Mexico seem to make up a huge share, but you can see the light blue cluster of South Asian immigrants near the North—where Devon Street is located:

Walker was inspired by similar maps showing racial segregation, concentration of renters, and location of jobs in America. Visually his map looks a lot like Dustin Cable’s racial dot map, except instead of each dot representing one person it represents 20, and instead of the colors representing race they indicate a native region.

Walker will discuss his map project at an upcoming conference in Dallas. Meanwhile, check out how awesome his maps of immigrant hub cities look:

Washington, D.C.

New York

Dallas-Fort Worth

Los Angeles

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    What Happened When Tulsa Paid People to Work Remotely

    The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.

  2. animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.
    Transportation

    This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

    To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

  3. Photo: A protected bike lane along San Francisco's Market Street, which went car-free in January.
    Transportation

    Why Would a Bike Shop Fight a Bike Lane?

    A store owner is objecting to San Francisco’s plan to install a protected bike lane, because of parking worries. Should it matter that it’s a bike shop?

  4. Maps

    For Those Living in Public Housing, It’s a Long Way to Work

    A new Urban Institute study measures the spatial mismatch between where job seekers live and employment opportunities.

  5. photo: a man with a smartphone in front of a rental apartment building in Boston.
    Equity

    Landlords Are Using Next-Generation Eviction Tech

    As tenant protections get stronger, corporate landlords use software to manage delinquent renters. But housing advocates see a tool for quicker evictions.

×