Here is a short video clip showing immigration patterns to the US between 1820 and 2007.



This striking graphic does, for example, illustrate South American immigration’s dramatic growth in recent decades. Three things about the graphic, however, make me skeptical of its usefulness as much more than a gimmick:
1) the use of dark blue dots against a black background to represent the African migration makes it difficult to see them well.
2) the graphic depicts the United States exclusively as migration’s destiny. We’ve known for a long time that, at least so far as the European migration is concerned, there was a substantial rate of return to the homeland and that it varied dramatically over time and from one nation of origin to another.
3) depicting the United States exclusively as migration’s destiny also obscures far more complex and interesting patterns of international and regional migrations. You would never know from this graphic, for example, that at least in the early years the African migration to the Caribbean and South America was far larger than the migration to the United States. It doesn’t even attempt to suggest the large European migration to South America; or the substantial redistribution of population in Asia.
Immigration to the US, 1820-2007 v2 from Ian Stevenson on Vimeo.