Despite the ongoing national debate about immigration policy, the United States remains one of the world’s biggest magnets for immigrants. Foreign nationals enter the country via numerous ways, but the general motives are the same: they come to the U.S. seeking better opportunities for themselves and their children.

Immigrants who come to the U.S. have many cities to choose from where to put their roots. Some choose to live in areas where previous immigrants from their home country have already established a community. But these may not always necessarily be the best options.

The recent report “Immigrants and Opportunity in America’s Cities” from The George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, reviewed 12 key indicators in America’s 100 most populous metropolitan areas to identify the communities where immigrants are thriving.

According to the report, the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan, metro area ranks as the 12th best city for immigrants. Detroit is home to an estimated 433,420 people who were born in foreign countries, accounting for 10.1% of the total population. From 2010 through 2021, immigration accounted for net population growth of 116,245 people, driving overall population growth up by 2.7%.

Economic prosperity is likely drawing many new Americans to Detroit. The typical household headed by a foreign-born resident earns $68,996 per year, and the homeownership rate among the area’s foreign born residents stands at 66.5%. These and other socioeconomic measures compare relatively favorably against the metro area population as a whole. The median household income and homeownership rate across all residents in the Detroit area stand at $62,768 and 69.5%, respectively.

All data in this story is from The George W. Bush Institute. A full methodology and documentation of sources is available on pages 72 and 73 of the report.


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