I'm in the process of doing a some long term electoral math regarding metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. It's early in my project, but I've found a way of getting a good visual picture of how dramatically the demographics of Georgia have changed since 1990.
- Go to http://www.census.gov/censusexplorer/censusexplorer.html
- Under the dropdown "Select a Measure" choose "Foreign born"
- Under the dropdown "Show by" choose "county"
- Now use the +/- icons on the upper right of the screen to zoom in on Georgia's counties
- You'll see three circular buttons marked "1990 Census", "2000 Census", and "2012 ACS". Cycle through them and watch the foreign born population increase.
There are limitations to what the Census Explorer tools will show, but it is a good starting point to help identify trends.
There are a number of interesting things to observe. The foreign born population is growing all over the state, but Gwinnett and Whitfield counties are particularly dramatic. I've been aware of the changes in Gwinnett county, but I haven't paid much attention to Whitfield yet. I'll be turning my focus to that county over the next few weeks. The northern part of the state has the heaviest concentration of foreign born residents, but in the southern part of the state, Telfair, Colquit, Atkinson, and Echols counties have substantial foreign born population, and dramatic increases over the past 24 years.
I'm making some early assumptions that I may have to adjust later. My assumption is that a solid majority of the immigrants are from Mexico, as that has been the trend nationwide. There is obviously also immigration from a number of other countries (metro Atlanta has substantial Korean and Ethiopian populations, for instance), but Mexico generally accounts for the largest percentage increase by far. I'm also making the assumption that the increases in foreign born population also implies a dramatic rise in the U.S. born voting age children of immigrants. Children born to immigrants in 1990 will now be about 24 years old. The increase of foreign born residents also implies that the residents are staying, rather than using Georgia as a way station.
Bear in mind that since the numbers and percentages don't include the U.S. born children of the foreign born residents, the numbers are actually higher for immigrants and their families than the maps indicate.
I intend to dig deeper into the figures with the help of American Factfinder, which provides a lot more detail, but the Census Explorer provides a good overview of the dramatic nature of the changes here.