Immigration Visualization Project Reflection

For US History class we looked at two graphs that showed how population grows and how over the past last 190 years immigration to the United States has changed.  The first thing that was noticed was simply that these graphs were far from the same. The next thing was what could cause the strange and drastic changes in the immigration graph. Through research we found that these numbers were affected because of events, major ones were the Industrial Revolution, which caused a major increase in immigration and the Great Depression, which caused a major drop in immigration. One specific event thing I learned and was surprised about through this project was the Quota Acts. The Quota Acts were very strict laws limiting immigration from countries, some more limited than others. For instance during the Quota acts in 1924 where Chinese immigrants were limited to in the hundreds, German immigrations went into the hundred thousands. This made me realize how hand crafted the American population really is.


From what I’ve learned about history and immigration through this project I predict that the US immigration is close to a crash. I don’t know much about American economics but if we have another crash in the stock market and go into a depression it’s going to drop like it did before. Actually in fact when immigration hit the last peak it was at it crashed soon after, currently we are back up at the same numbers the previous peak were at, which to me signifies a soon drop. It will continue to go down for the next decade or so, and won’t start lifting up at least till the 2030’s.


The process for developing a product for this project was challenging. Our team Ryan Harris, Paige Wayman, and I hit a couple roadblocks in developing a good way of representing the data. At first we were going to make a Prezzi presentation but found that it was in fact fairly complicated to work with and decided it wasn’t the right type of visual representation we were aiming for. So instead we produced a map with arrows. The arrows size represents the amount if immigration that came from that part of the world. The color correlates with the color on the time line at the bottom. We found this to be a more eye-catching way of presenting the data. If we were going to do this project over I think we could have mixed the Prezzi and the map together. For example the events that we put on the map we could make little side notes that went off giving more information. Nothing was particularly challenging except building it. We all agreed on ideas and came together to work equally and cohesively.

Screen Shot 2011-09-20 at 8.55.06 AM
Screen Shot 2011-09-20 at 8.55.06 AM

Comments (1)

Breeanna Noi (Student 2013)
Breeanna Noi

Great layout of the representation. The message was clearly displayed and it's not confusing at all - pretty straight forward. But WHY are the changes from those places like that?