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This Upstate NY metro leads the nation in residents from abroad

by Staff

A higher percentage of residents in Ithaca moved there from abroad than any other metro area in the United States, according to Census Bureau data.

About 2,500 people in the Ithaca metro area originally moved there from another country, according to 2022 census estimates, released in September. That translates into 2.4% of the population.

The Ithaca metro area includes Tompkins County only.

Cornell University is likely a major reason for Ithaca’s high ranking. The Ivy League school draws people from all over the world.

While other metro areas had higher raw numbers of residents who originated from abroad, none of them had as high a percentage as Ithaca. Alexandria, Louisiana and the Lafayette-West Lafayette metro area in Indiana tied for No. 2 in the nation at 2%.

You can see the full national rankings in the table below. If you can’t see the table, click here to open it in a new window. You can sort each column by clicking on the headers. You can also search by entering a full or partial metro area name in the box.

The numbers cover each area’s population aged 1 year and up. The Census Bureau had data for a total of 364 metro areas.

Other Upstate New York metros also ranked highly for the percentages of their residents who originally moved from abroad.

The Elmira metro area ranked 12th in the nation, with 1.5% of its residents coming originally from other countries. Watertown-Fort Drum tied for 13th at 1.4%

The Syracuse metro area, which includes Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties, tied for No. 170 at 0.4%. Albany, Buffalo, Kingston and Rochester were also tied for 170th at 0.4%.

You can see details of for New York metro areas in the table below. If you can’t see the table, click here to open it in a new window.

Net international migration to the United States overall has been returning to more normal levels in recent years following declines due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Census Bureau.

The South, for example, added over 1.4 million people in 2023 and accounted for 87% of the nation’s population growth. Nearly 500,000 of those new residents were from other countries, according to the census.

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