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Immigrants fuel population growth in Nobles County

WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County saw the largest change in foreign-born population in the state of Minnesota from 1980 to 2015, according to a new report.

WORTHINGTON - Nobles County saw the largest change in foreign-born population in the state of Minnesota from 1980 to 2015, according to a new report.

 

Nobles County saw a 17 percent increase in foreign-born individuals as a percentage of the population during that time, representing the 11th largest increase among all counties in the entire nation. That number is similar to the percentage change in population centers such as Dallas County, Texas, Fairfax County, Va. and Queens County, N.Y. over the last 35 years.

 

From 1990 to 2000, Nobles County’s foreign-born population grew to 1,881 from 444. It took another leap in the next decade to 3,159. Then, from 2010 to 2015, the county saw nearly 1,000 more immigrants move in.

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Nobles County’s growth has largely correlated with an increased number of immigrants. The population grew to 21,848 in 2016 from 20,098 in 1990, despite the native-born population dropping from 19,654 to 17,548 in the same timespan.

 

The data comes from the United States Census Bureau, and the information is organized by Pansop.com, a community knowledge-sharing website.

Roughly half of Nobles County’s foreign-born residents are from Mexico, one quarter are from southeast Asia, and about 20 percent come from Latin American countries, according to data from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.

In addition to immigrants, 40 refugees have settled in the Worthington area since 2002, with 21 coming from Ethiopia and 13 coming from Burma, according to data from the Refugee Processing Center.

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