Next Steps

Lessons 1 and 2 in the geographic investigation highlighted the movement of food and people as well as its impact on the world. Developing an understanding of how and why mobility varies from place to place is vital in order to predict and make informed decisions related to social, environmental, economic, and political changes. More importantly, your understanding will determine how you make daily decisions on such topics as food, goods, and immigration issues.

An enrichment activity is developed for classes and students who desire to further explore how migration is shaping the United States.

Enrichment Activity: Our Immigration History to the U.S.

Select Immigration Explorer, an interactive map that shows migration patterns to the U.S. from 1880-2000.

1. Click on the image above to explore migration patterns in the U.S. on the  New York Times’ Interactive Immigration Explorer map.

2. The current setting is set to "All countries" in the top left dropdown box. To see overall patterns for all immigrant settlement from 1880 to 2000, move the slider at the top of the map.

3. You may choose to show the data in two different ways: 1) Percent of population or 2) Number of residents.

If you select "Percent of population", a specific color represents the area where immigrants originally came from (e.g., green shows immigrants from Canada). The darker the color, the more people coming to the U.S., the lighter the color, the fewer.

If you select "Number of residents", the size of circles are used to show the proportion of immigrants. For example, the larger the green circle, the more people from Canada moved into the U.S. compared to a smaller green circle.

With these principles, click on the corresponding button in the top right of page to choose either data representation.

4. Click on the "All countries" dropdown box to select an ethnic group to trace their immigration to the U.S.  Note pattern(s) you observe about the movement of this group from 1880 to 2000.

5. Move the slider at the top of the map to see where immigrants from the selected ethnicity settled between 1880 to 2000.

6. To compare ethnic groups, select another ethnicity from the dropdown box and repeat steps 4 and 5. 

To learn more about the movement of people, goods, and ideas, explore these other websites:

  • Movement of people also initiates a flow of non-tangible goods such as money. Click here to learn about remittances and watch a video about the topic.
  • Data and maps on immigration can be found at the MPI Data Hub



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