World’s immigration

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In Europe the oversas immigration was tied to colonial migration traditions which created overseas expansion in its early stage. Apart from free settlers who paid their own costs of travelling and state employees, church and settlement companies employees, contractual labourers made a significant portion of people who traveled from NorthWest Europe to America in the 16th and 17th century.

From 30s of the 19the century, mass immigration from Europe got a long term status. The immigration became massive one from 1820. Between the years of 1820 and 1860 13.5 million of immigrants came into the USA while a great part of them came from South and Central Europe. At first, they came to America for better wages in steel factories, metal factories and coal mines with no intention to stay permanently. After some time more and more people intended to stay permanently.

In the period from 1900 to 1924 around 18 million of immigrants came in from similar areas. As the labour opportunities with gradual industrialization process went higher, the number of immigrants heading from centres of industrial development of West, Central and East Europe to the USA went lower. Towards the 90s of the 19th century overseas immigration was significantly reduced, except from Great Britain.

In the first decade of the 20th century when the European immigration reached the greatest extent, only third of immigrants came from Great Britain and NorthWest part of continental Europe, where e.g. originally great portion of German immigrant dropped to appr. 2%. Around 2/3 of European immigrants came from South Europe (41%), from East and SouthEast Europe and Eastern part of Central Europe (appr. 25% in total). By the year 1880 statistics of American immigration showed hardly 150,000 immigrants from Habsbrug Monarchy and Tsar’s Russia.

In the 90s of the 19th century there were 593,000 and 602,000. In the first decade of 20th century, when the “new migration“ reached the top, American statistics recorded 2,145,000 immigrants from Austria Hungary and 1,597,000 from Russia, among whom there are 976,000 Jews and 874,000 Poles.


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