The United States is in the midst of “a second great wave of immigration”, a new study from USA Today suggests, with the report comparing immigration in the country over the course of the last two decades to the enormous influx of immigrants at the start of the 20th century.
The original ‘great wave’ of immigration, which lasted from the 1880s until the 1920s, saw many Europeans moving across the Atlantic, transforming the political and social landscape of the nation and creating the modern US. The second wave commenced in the 1970s and gathered pace in the 90s, with the technology explosion in this decade resulting in a big increase in the number of immigrant workers.
One of the results of this second wave of immigration is the effect it has had on ethnic diversity across the United States. This diversity includes rural areas such as the Midwest, where the population was predominantly white until recently. Small cities and towns now number among the most ethnically diverse places in the country, as do metro areas such as North Carolina, Yakima, Washington and Lumberton. Such ethnic diversity was previously confined to major cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
25% of those surveyed by USA Today believe that this change has been a bad thing for the United States; however, almost 50% feel that the increase in diversity is a positive thing for the country.