With the economic downturn, immigration to the United States slowed, but the foreign-born population still increased more than 20% from 2000 through 2008, from 31 million to 38 million. One in eight Americans was foreign born in 2008, up from 1-in-20 in 1970.

The largest U.S. metropolitan areas continue to be home to the largest number of immigrants, with more than 1 million in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. But the major metros with the fastest-growth immigrant populations were mostly in the southeast region of the country.

This growth has implications for real estate development, because immigrants tend to settle close together within metros and more than half of foreign-born metro residents live in the suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution. Here’s a Top 10 list of fastest-growing foreign-born populations in major metros (those with at least 100,000 immigrants) from 2000 through 2008, the latest year available:

Metro

2000 foreign-born population

2008 foreign-born population

Change

Nashville

58,539

107,184

83.1%

Charlotte

91,990

163,539

77.8%

Raleigh-Cary, NC

69,530

117,298

68.7%

Atlanta

424,519

710,885

67.5%

Orlando

197,119

323,945

64.3%

Las Vegas

247,751

403,674

62.9%

Columbus, OH

71,953

113,340

57.5%

Austin, TX

152,834

239,509

56.7%

Kansas City

81,072

121,621

50.0%

Phoenix

457,483

682,869

49.3%

                                    (Source: Brookings Institution.)