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The Sochi Data Olympics: Russians in America (Part 2)

TUESDAY, FEB 11, 2014

To help kick off the Sochi Olympics, Social Explorer showcased the Russian American population from 1980 to today (which you can explore here in Part 1).  For this next data event, Social Explorer bobsledded back to 1890 to examine early Russian immigration to the US. 

The flow of Russian immigration to the United States rose from thousands to over a million per year by the early 20th Century.  This first wave included a young Irving Berlin, whose family settled in New York in 1893 as part of the Russian-Jewish community of expats. 

Between 1890 and 1910, Manhattan's Russian foreign-born population more than tripled from 3.2 percent (48,790 people) to 11.6 percent (312,985 people).

As you can see on the 1890 Census map, Russians settled in various other pockets around the country too, with notable communities emerging in the Dakotas, Kansas, Washington State, and more.  

For example, Russian Americans made up more than half the population in Mercer County, North Dakota (51.4 percent), and nearly two thirds of the population in McIntosh, North Dakota (63.2 percent).  These clusters are German-Russian communities and still exist today.  (Read more about the history of the German-Russian community in McIntosh and neighboring counties.)

By 1920, after additional peaks in immigration as many Russians left during Stalin's rule, there were 1,400,489 Russians living in the US, making up 10.2 percent of the foreign born population.

This rise in the Russian immigrant population can be seen on this 1920 Census map:

Explore more medal-winning demographics about Russians and other groups using Social Explorer's mapping and reporting tools.

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