Meet Chicagoland's Immigrants

Welcome at my new series: 'Meet Chicagoland's Immigrants.'

I am glad you've come here to check us, the Chicagoland Immigrants, out.

While Chicago has one of the richest immigration histories among American cities, something seems to be changing.

I would like you to meet some of the immigrants that are still living in Chicagoland. They'll tell you some things about themselves and about the area they live in.

Feel free to comment and share their stories.


Dutch Alien

AKA Annemarie Verweij

If you are willing to contribute, please send an email to:

All the interviews together:

Christy Pallangattil (country of origin: India)

Leen de Pauw (country of origin: Belgium)

Onicia Muller (country of origin: The Netherlands)

Willemijn Brinke (country of origin: The Netherlands)

Ana Martin Sagredo (country of origin: Spain)



Chicago has one of the richest immigration histories among American cities. Already in 1870 immigrants made up a larger proportion of the city's population (48 percent) than any other place in North America. During an 80-year period between 1880 and 1960 the size of Chicago's foreign-born population was second only to that of New York City. Local immigration patterns unfolded in a manner parallel to those of the nation. Mid-19th century arrivals from Ireland and Germany were followed by large numbers of Russian Jews, Slavs, and Italians in the years 1880-1920. Since the immigration reforms of 1965, the city and its suburbs have attracted growing numbers of Asians and Latin Americans.

The Chicago region continues to have one of the largest and most diverse immigrant populations in the country. Among metropolitan areas, the number of Chicago-area immigrants ranks seventh in the nation, with 1.4 million immigrants who constitute 18 percent of the overall population.

~ Source.

The main factors in Chicago's population dip are diminished immigration, the aging of the Mexican immigrant population that bolstered the city throughout the 1990s as well as an exodus of African-Americans, experts say.

~ Source.