Discussion at the Neighborhoods Best Practices Conference

New Americans in Columbus Columbus is proud to be a welcoming city for all. As the 14th largest city in the United States, Columbus is home to more than 155,000 residents who were born in nations including Bhutan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Mexico, among others. According to the 2018-2019 Global Report from the Columbus Council on World Affairs, roughly 8% of the City’s total population is foreign born. 

The story of immigration is not a new one for our city; Columbus has long been a destination for those arriving in our nation. This is seen in historic neighborhoods like German Village, Italian Village, and Hungarian Village.  More recently, Columbus has become home to a growing number of refugees and immigrants from different parts of the world. According to the Impact of Refugees in Central Ohio 2015 Report, more than 16,000 refugees have been resettled in the Columbus area from 1983 - 2015. In addition, secondary resettlement, the process by which a refugee relocates from the area where they initially settled, has grown. This includes individuals from Somalia, Bhutan and Nepal.

Today, immigrants from Mexico, Central America, South America, Asia and Africa are helping to shape the culture of our neighborhoods. This is seen in the many new restaurants, small businesses, shopping centers, and festivals that have become a part of everyday life in Columbus.   

The Department of Neighborhoods is focused on helping to empower New Americans and reduce disparities in our communities through efforts like the New American Leadership Academy, providing interpretation and translation services, and serving as an advocate for a fair and equal Columbus.