Soviet America: A Case Study of Migrants from Former Soviet Socialist Republics in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area

Authors: Polina Prokof'yeva*, Concord University
Topics: Migration, East Europe, Political Geography
Keywords: Soviet Union, Migrants, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been an
increase in the number of migrants coming into the United States from former Soviet republics.
Approximately 1.5 million people left those countries between 1950 and 1991, and since then and
up until 2008, more than 1 million people arrived into the United States. This project focuses on
migrants from former Soviet countries who reside in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. I
examine what prompted people to leave their countries, the skills they possessed prior to coming into
the United States as well as their willingness to return home. Migrants’ experiences while living in the United States and the process they have undergone in order to relocate to a different country are also being explored. By examining historical and census data, the project identifies the reasons for people’s migration. Surveys, country specific focus groups, and
detailed interviews were conducted as part of the field work. The results of this project are
visualized using descriptive statistics and geographic information systems (GIS).

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