What Florida's immigrant population looked like in 1900

Written by:
June 18, 2022
Historical // Getty Images

What Florida's immigrant population looked like in 1900

Since the first successful English colony settled in Jamestown in 1607, flows of immigrants have arrived on American shores seeking a new life. From Irish immigrants fleeing famine to Chinese immigrants settling in California during the Gold Rush, more than 86 million people legally immigrated to the United States between 1783 and 2019.

There have been four major waves of immigration to the U.S., beginning with settlers from northern and western Europe seeking land on the frontier from 1820 to 1880. The immigrants counted in the 1900 Census hailed primarily from southern and eastern Europe, drawn by the call of industrialization in America. At the advent of the era of world wars, there was a dearth of immigration, but after 1965, individuals from Asia and Latin America began to move to the U.S. in droves.

Though the national immigrant population today and in 1900 is comparable by percentage, hovering around 14% of the overall U.S. population, the raw population tells a different story. Today, the U.S. is home to 44.7 million immigrants, whereas that number was just shy of 10.5 million at the time of the 1900 Census. Stacker compiled a list of the largest sources of immigrants in Florida in 1900 by transcribing a previously untranscribed dataset from the U.S. Census Bureau. Countries are ranked by total residents who were born in that country.

Immigration to the U.S. was handled at the state level prior to 1890, with each state government designating its own processes and checkpoints. New York originally used Castle Garden (now Castle Clinton) as its immigration processing hub, but within a few decades realized that a massive influx of immigrants necessitated a larger venue. Ellis Island opened on Jan. 1, 1892, to the first of more than 12 million individuals who entered the U.S. through its doors.

Keep reading to find out more about the historical immigrant community in your home state or explore the data on your own on our site, GitHub, or data.world.

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Hulton Deutsch // Getty Images

#1. Cuba

Florida
- Number of residents: 6,744
- Percent of foreign born residents: 23.39%
- Percent of total state population: 1.28%
National
- Number of residents: 11,159
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.11%
- #28 most common country of origin

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Universal History Archive // Getty Images

#2. West Indies (except Cuba and Puerto Rico)

Florida
- Number of residents: 4,910
- Percent of foreign born residents: 17.03%
- Percent of total state population: 0.93%
National
- Number of residents: 14,468
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.14%
- #26 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#3. England

Florida
- Number of residents: 2,231
- Percent of foreign born residents: 7.74%
- Percent of total state population: 0.42%
National
- Number of residents: 843,491
- Percent of foreign born residents: 8.06%
- #4 most common country of origin

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Lewis W. Hine // Getty Images

#4. Germany

Florida
- Number of residents: 1,812
- Percent of foreign born residents: 6.28%
- Percent of total state population: 0.34%
National
- Number of residents: 2,669,164
- Percent of foreign born residents: 25.52%
- #1 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#5. Italy

Florida
- Number of residents: 1,707
- Percent of foreign born residents: 5.92%
- Percent of total state population: 0.32%
National
- Number of residents: 484,703
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.63%
- #6 most common country of origin

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#6. Canada

Florida
- Number of residents: 1,199
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.16%
- Percent of total state population: 0.23%
National
- Number of residents: 1,183,225
- Percent of foreign born residents: 11.31%
- #3 most common country of origin

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#7. Spain

Florida
- Number of residents: 1,084
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.76%
- Percent of total state population: 0.21%
National
- Number of residents: 7,284
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.07%
- #33 most common country of origin

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FPG // Getty Images

#8. Ireland

Florida
- Number of residents: 797
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.76%
- Percent of total state population: 0.15%
National
- Number of residents: 1,619,409
- Percent of foreign born residents: 15.48%
- #2 most common country of origin

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Minnesota Historical Society // Getty Images

#9. Sweden

Florida
- Number of residents: 561
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.95%
- Percent of total state population: 0.11%
National
- Number of residents: 574,625
- Percent of foreign born residents: 5.49%
- #5 most common country of origin

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#10. Scotland

Florida
- Number of residents: 434
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.51%
- Percent of total state population: 0.08%
National
- Number of residents: 234,699
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.24%
- #11 most common country of origin

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Universal History Archive // Getty Images

#11. France

Florida
- Number of residents: 262
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.91%
- Percent of total state population: 0.05%
National
- Number of residents: 104,534
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.00%
- #18 most common country of origin

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Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#12. Norway

Florida
- Number of residents: 235
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.82%
- Percent of total state population: 0.04%
National
- Number of residents: 338,426
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.24%
- #9 most common country of origin

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Samuel Hopwood // Getty Images

#13. Russia

Florida
- Number of residents: 220
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.76%
- Percent of total state population: 0.04%
National
- Number of residents: 424,372
- Percent of foreign born residents: 4.06%
- #7 most common country of origin

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#14. Denmark

Florida
- Number of residents: 204
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.71%
- Percent of total state population: 0.04%
National
- Number of residents: 154,616
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.48%
- #13 most common country of origin

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#15. Wales

Florida
- Number of residents: 169
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.59%
- Percent of total state population: 0.03%
National
- Number of residents: 93,744
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.90%
- #20 most common country of origin

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UniversalImagesGroup // Getty Images

#16. Switzerland

Florida
- Number of residents: 118
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.41%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 115,959
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.11%
- #15 most common country of origin

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FPG // Getty Images

#17. China

Florida
- Number of residents: 118
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.41%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 106,659
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.02%
- #16 most common country of origin

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David RUBINGER // Getty Images

#18. Roumania

Florida
- Number of residents: 115
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.40%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 15,043
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.14%
- #25 most common country of origin

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Historical // Getty Images

#19. Atlantic Islands

Florida
- Number of residents: 109
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.38%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 10,955
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.10%
- #29 most common country of origin

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Interim Archives // Getty Images

#20. Greece

Florida
- Number of residents: 98
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.34%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 8,655
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.08%
- #31 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#21. Austria

Florida
- Number of residents: 91
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.32%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 276,702
- Percent of foreign born residents: 2.65%
- #10 most common country of origin

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Alexander Alland, Jr. // Getty Images

#22. Mexico

Florida
- Number of residents: 84
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.29%
- Percent of total state population: 0.02%
National
- Number of residents: 103,445
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.99%
- #19 most common country of origin

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#23. South America

Florida
- Number of residents: 58
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.20%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 4,814
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.05%
- #35 most common country of origin

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#24. Asia (except China, Japan, and India)

Florida
- Number of residents: 55
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.19%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 11,928
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.11%
- #27 most common country of origin

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Universal History Archive // Getty Images

#25. Holland

Florida
- Number of residents: 52
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.18%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 105,098
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.00%
- #17 most common country of origin

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Keystone-France // Getty Images

#26. Finland

Florida
- Number of residents: 42
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.15%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 63,440
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.61%
- #22 most common country of origin

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David RUBINGER // Getty Images

#27. Portugal

Florida
- Number of residents: 37
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.13%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 37,144
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.36%
- #23 most common country of origin

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#28. Hungary

Florida
- Number of residents: 37
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.13%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 145,815
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.39%
- #14 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#29. Europe (not otherwise specified)

Florida
- Number of residents: 32
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.11%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 2,272
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.02%
- #41 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#30. Central America

Florida
- Number of residents: 28
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.10%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 3,911
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.04%
- #36 most common country of origin

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Minnesota Historical Society // Getty Images

#31. Poland

Florida
- Number of residents: 27
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.09%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 383,595
- Percent of foreign born residents: 3.67%
- #8 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#32. Africa

Florida
- Number of residents: 27
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.09%
- Percent of total state population: 0.01%
National
- Number of residents: 2,577
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.02%
- #40 most common country of origin

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#33. India

Florida
- Number of residents: 24
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.08%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 2,069
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.02%
- #42 most common country of origin

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Lewis W. Hine // Getty Images

#34. Born at Sea

Florida
- Number of residents: 22
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.08%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 8,310
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.08%
- #32 most common country of origin

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FPG // Getty Images

#35. Bohemia

Florida
- Number of residents: 20
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.07%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 156,999
- Percent of foreign born residents: 1.50%
- #12 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#36. Other Countries

Florida
- Number of residents: 18
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.06%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 2,587
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.02%
- #39 most common country of origin

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FPG // Getty Images

#37. Belgium

Florida
- Number of residents: 18
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.06%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 29,848
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.29%
- #24 most common country of origin

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Universal History Archive // Getty Images

#38. Australia

Florida
- Number of residents: 17
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.06%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 7,041
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.07%
- #34 most common country of origin

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#39. Turkey

Florida
- Number of residents: 14
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.05%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 9,949
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.10%
- #30 most common country of origin

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ullstein bild Dtl. // Getty Images

#40. Pacific Islands (except Phillipine Islands)

Florida
- Number of residents: 8
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.03%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 2,659
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.03%
- #38 most common country of origin

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Historical // Getty Images

#41. Japan

Florida
- Number of residents: 1
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.00%
- Percent of total state population: 0.00%
National
- Number of residents: 81,590
- Percent of foreign born residents: 0.78%
- #21 most common country of origin

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