The city upon a hill was founded by a group of Puritans from England in 1630. Since then, immigrants from all over the world have made Boston their home.
According to the most recent demographic report from the city of Boston in 2009:
Irish and Italian are the first and second leading ancestries. Their recorded number decreased between 1990 and 2007, by 33.4% and 30.7%, respectively.
Puerto Ricans are the third leading ancestry. Their reported number increased by 12.7%, between 1990
Over the last two decades the share of Boston’s foreign-born population has increased at a faster pace than Massachusetts and the U.S.
In 1990, 114,597 immigrants accounted for 20% of the city’s total population.
In 2007, Boston had 608,352 residents, with the foreign born accounting for almost 28% of that population.
Boston’s foreign-born population comes predominantly from the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa and represents more than 100 different countries.
Caribbean immigrants make up almost 53% of all immigrants from the Americas.
Chinese immigrants make up the largest share of Boston’s immigrants.
Since 1990, the Latino population has increased by 53.6% and the Asian population by 71.1%
Boston had the 5th highest proportion of foreign-born residents among the 25 largest U.S. cities in 2007.
*I'm a first-generation American. My family emigrated from the Former Yugoslavia in the 1980's.
This past spring and summer, the Boston Public Library had an exhibition titled the City of Neighborhoods. The exhibition compares the neighborhoods of today’s “new” Boston with those of 100 years ago. The 45 photos, objects, and maps, many of which are based on recent census data, show us where newer immigrant groups have settled and how the streets and features of a neighborhood reflect who lives and works there.
Blake Gumprecht, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at UNH, had a map in the exhibition. His collection of maps, Peopling of New England, are found on flickr.