From the late 1800s through the 1940s, Indian Punjabi men moved to the US, married women of often-Mexican descent, and built mixed Punjabi/Mexican families. We’ve produced a geocoded dataset of members of this community in 1940, based on U.S. Census data about people with the last name of “Singh,” the most common Punjabi name in the U.S.
Here’s why this is important: South Asians have been in the U.S. since at least 1680, but South Asian immigration was blocked in the 1920s due to anti-Asian racism. By 1940, there were several thousand South Asians in the U.S., most male (because women were largely blocked from entering). Because of social and legal barriers, South Asian men could not marry White women, but they were often welcomed in and married into Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Creole communities.
This 1940 Singh Census dataset tells us about these Punjabi male immigrants, the women (most often of Mexican origin) they married, and the children they raised. It tells the stories of an unlikely joint community built in the face of racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant policies. (Learn more.)
We need your help! Please explore the data, and develop either digital or handmade maps visualizing the story of these communities.
The data (JSON and CSV)
The data is available in two formats:
Three different questions you can answer