The United States is a country of immigrants. Whether in search of opportunities or personal freedoms, whether to start a business or to flee a civil war, people immigrate to create new lives for themselves and their families. The immigrants who have chosen to stay in the Philadelphia region have not only started anew for themselves, they have also imbued cultural richness into our society. Every immigrant carries with him a unique experience and history.

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Seven percent of Philadelphia’s foreign born come from Africa. There are immigrants from almost every African country in Philadelphia, though the largest communities are from Nigeria, Liberia, Ethiopia and Ghana.
According to U.S. Census numbers, thirty-nine percent of Philadelphia’s foreign born come from Asia, making Asians the largest share of Philadelphia’s immigrants.  Hailing from more than 15 countries from Pakistan to the Philippines, Asians have come to Philadelphia to create a new life for themselves and their families. They have brought with them the traditions of their families and homelands, their skills and knowledge, their languages such as Khmer, Tagalog and Urdu, faiths, and philosophies from Buddhism to Catholicism to Islam.
Thirty percent of Philadelphia’s foreign born come from Europe. Many are Eastern Europeans that arrived after the end of the cold war. Philadelphia has been a land of opportunity for European immigrants for hundreds of years. Europeans were the first to arrive, fleeing religious persecution and seeking the economic opportunity of the new world. William Penn, Philadelphia's founder, was an immigrant from Great Britain, and envisioned the city as a haven of religious tolerance, encouraging those persecuted in Europe to settle here.
Immigrants from the Middle East and Central Asia constitute a small percentage of the foreign born in Philadelphia. People from all over the region, including Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, have come to the United States to do business and to live in peace. The majority of immigrants are Arab, stemming from the Arab peninsula.
Twenty-four percent of Philadelphia’s foreign born come from the Pan-American region. Many come from the Caribbean, with significant populations also coming from South America. A growing number of Philadelphia’s newcomers come from Mexico and Central America.