I’ve been a fan of FiveThirtyEight since it was an independent blog, then a New York Times column and now an independent news organization. FiveThirtyEight avoids getting partisanship and instead looks at public policy (as well as sports, science and many other topics) as number crunchers. But they present the data in an entertaining way, often challenging the conventional wisdom with cold hard facts.

Today, Ben Casselman is tackling immigration. He’s drawing a few interesting conclusions. First, despite the coverage of the border crisis, the actual amount of illegal immigration to the US is minuscule and may actually be decreasing. Second, the amount of immigration coming from Mexico has fallen steeply even as it has picked up from Central America. One figure that’s interesting to me is that Asia has now passed Latin America as the largest source of new immigration to the US. Asians surpassed Latin Americans as the number one immigrant group about six years ago, but in 2000, Latin American immigration outnumbered Asian immigration by about 4 to 1.

Another interesting chart that’s included in the article is a breakdown of the foreign populations by state. The states with the fastest rising immigrant populations aren’t the border states as one would expect. They’re largely Republican-leaning states like South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. It will be interesting to see how the growing diversity of states like these change their culture and politics.

Greg Siskind