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Connecting America
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Connecting America

Immigration has turned the United States into a global village. An interactive graphic explores the top countries of origin for green card holders in each state, showing the changes in ethnic and cultural diversity by geographic locations.

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The Story Behind the Project

In 2011, immigration reached an all-time high, at 40.4 million people, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, part of the Pew Research Center. Intrigued by the milestone, the Missing Mike team decided to examine data of those granted legal permanent status (green cards) in 2011 and the breakdown by country of origin.

As the team members said, “While the term ‘immigrant’ increasingly becomes warped as a negative term in America, the Connecting America project aims to illustrate the underlying connections to other countries that many newly recognized residents share in order to reframe immigration in a positive way.”

Connecting America won first place at the Los Angeles Migrahack. Judges were impressed with the project’s simplicity, interactive elements and insight. Who knew that Maine was one of the top three states where green-card holders from Kenya lived? Or that the top three immigrant groups in Iowa were from Mexico, Burma and Vietnam?

Judges also applauded the team’s tenacity. The team name, “Missing Mike,” refers to Mike Thomas, who helped craft ideas around data and presentation, but had to drop out before finishing. Developer Alex Leavitt and designer Ashley Seto nevertheless persevered, with an all-night work session.

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