Immigration Shifts

01/01/1880 - 12/31/1920

This period marks a huge transition in patterns of immigration.

Immigration Skyrockets

01/01/1881 - 12/31/1890

The rate of immigration nearly doubles, going from about 2.6 million the previous decade to over 5 million. About 80% of these immigrants come from Northern Europe.

Urban Immigrants

January 1, 1890

By this year, New York has twice as many Irishmen than Dublin, and Chicago has a larger Polish population than Warsaw, Poland.

A Change in Origin

01/01/1891 - 12/31/1900

Immigration tones down to only 3.5 million this decade. The locations begin to even out, with a bit more than half coming from Southern Europe.

Ellis Island

January 1, 1892

Ellis Island opens, and the first immigrant--Annie Moore--passes through, followed by 699 in just one day.

Unpredictable Rates

01/01/1901 - 12/31/1910

The new century marks the beginning of unfathomable records, with immigration reaching 8.5 million. 6.6 million come from Southern Europe alone, toppling all the total records from previous years.

Ellis Island's Peak

April 17, 1907

11,747 immigrants pass through Ellis Island alone, more than any other day. This year also marks the annual record of 1,004,756.

Melting Pot


Israel Zangwill writes "The Melting Pot", the title of which is used to name the concept used in the play. The Melting Pot states that Americans are born through a complex timeline coming together--a mix of heritage forming the citizen that would inhabit the same country.


01/01/1911 - 12/31/1920

The rate of immigration lowers to 5.9 million this decade. 3.4 come from Southern Europe.