While the immigrant population in Indianapolis is small in proportion to other urban areas, it is the one of the fastest growing in the country. The majority of Indianapolis' foreign-born population entered the United States in the last decade. According to the 2000 United States census, the population in Indianapolis has grown by approximately 40,000 residents. Immigrants account for 44% of this population increase.
Nearly half of the newcomers to Indianapolis come from Latin American countries. Europe and Asia also are source regions. The top five countries of origin for Hoosier immigrants as of 2005 are Mexico, China, India, Germany and Korea. But newcomers arrive from every country you can imagine. Since 2000, Indianapolis has welcomed immigrants from Sierra Leone and Burma to Slovakia and Ireland, from Russia and Taiwan to Micronesia and Australia.
According to an Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) survey, employment is the number one concern for these newcomers, regardless of country of origin. Affordable housing, transportation and education are closely grouped as the next set of needs.
"I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows
to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown
about my house as freely as possible."
-- Mahatma Gandhi