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Between 1820 and 2013, almost 80 million immigrants attained legal resident status in the USA. Understanding where all of these people came from and when exactly they made the momentous move to the States can be a challenging feat, but thanks to an interactive map from Microcosm.com, things just got a whole lot easier.

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The fantastically illuminating visual shows a map of the world, with coloured dots representing every 10,000 immigrants to the States. Nationalities are colour-coded and their brightness varies depending on the volume of people migrating at that particular time in history, while users can scroll back and forth through the ages using the toggle at the bottom of the screen. Finally, the map contains a figure for the total number of immigrants and a top three of the contributing countries, which change as time progresses.

While Germany, Ireland, the UK and other European nations topped immigrations figures for the first hundred years or so, the last half century has seen an predominantly Mexican immigrants arriving in the country, along with many Asian settlers.

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Although recent immigration figures are at their highest level in history, this only tells half the story – as a percentage of the entire US population, immigration is now relatively low. As such, the map serves up some interesting observations and acts as novel way to view the history of immigration in the States and the wider world as a whole.

via Metrocosm