History Growth of a Nation the Numbers Tell the Story

Sometimes it was their own national disasters that sent immigrants flocking to America, sometimes it was wars or revolutions, and sometimes it was simply the lure of the New World. The influx, which the Government began to record in 1820, roughly follows the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, although improvements in transportation also fueled the urge to move. Overwhelmingly Northern and Western European at the beginning of the 19th century, the ethnic mix has become steadily more varied, a trend that is accelerating today.



Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!