2.11.2007

The World's Top Immigrant Cities

George Washington University researchers Marie Price and Lisa Benton-Short sought to identify the world's top urban immigrant destinations. Here is what they found:

1) Cities are magnets for immigration

In the top tier are cities that are both global economic centers and magnets for immigrants, including New York and London. But there are also major urban immigrant destinations that tend to be overlooked, especially cities in the Middle East.

According to the researchers, immigrant cities are growing in number due to globalization and the acceleration of immigrant flows driven by income differentials, social networks, and various state policies.

Top Tier Cities -- Cities with over 1 million in foreign-born residents

West: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Washington, DC, and Miami
Middle West (Europe): London, Paris, Moscow
Middle East: Dubai, Riyadh, Medina, Mecca
East: Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne

Next Tier Cities -- Cities with at least 100K foreign-born residents

39 cities with foreign-born populations between 250K-1MM (including: Vancouver, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Tbilisi, Perth)
43 cities with foreign-born populations 100K-250K (including: Lisbon, Rotterdam, Frankfurt, Caracas, San Juan, Dublin, Rome, Seoul)

2) Some cities are hyper diversified

Hyper diversified cities (cities with large immigrant populations from across the globe) include established gateways such as New York, London, and Toronto. Other hyper diverse cities include Sydney, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Washington, DC, Hamburg, Munich, San Francisco, and Seattle.

3) 2 U.S. cities are in the top 10 in regards to percentage of immigrants

According to the Globalization, Urbanization and Migration website's list, only Miami and Los Angeles are in the top ten. However, 5 cities are from the Middle East (Dubai, Muscat (Oman), Mecca, Tel Aviv and Medina). Canada's Toronto and Vancouver also made the list. The 10th city to make the list is Hong Kong.