When you think of places with concentrated immigrant populations, you generally think of cities. You wouldn’t go to a rural area to find a Little Italy or a Chinatown. And as you might expect, Miami, Los Angeles, and the counties in and around New York City all have among the highest foreign-born populations in the country. But what county has the highest concentration of foreign-born people? That would be Alaska’s Aleutians East Borough, at 63% of all people being born in another country. The neighboring Aleutians West Census Area isn’t far behind at 45%. What accounts for these foreign-born people flocking to a cold, remote island archipelago off the Alaskan coast? Salmon, pacific cod, and the workers who come to catch and process them. Besides English, the most spoken language in Aleutians East is Tagalog, a major language in the Philippines. And according to the Department of Homeland Security immigration data at PolicyMap, in 2009, 35% of all green-cards issued in Alaska went to Filipino-born people.
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