Cornwall Emigration and Immigration

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A devastating collapse of the economy in Cornwall during the 19th century resulted in a massive exodus of much of the population (referred to as the Cornish Diaspora), and it was not until 1971 that the population of Cornwall returned to that (about 350,000) of the mid-19th century.

It is estimated that there are approximately six million people worldwide with Cornish ancestry, and fewer than 10% now live in Cornwall. Inasmuch as the most important segment of the economy had been mining, those who are seeking to find families who left Cornwall are most likely to have success when searching in places where mining was important.

In the USA, the Cornish are found in large numbers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and California, but are everywhere throughout the country. In Canada, Ontario was the most common destination, and many went to South Africa, as well as mining districts in Latin America, such as the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Massive emigration to Australia, especially South Australia, and New Zealand took place, and Moonta, South Australia is still known as Little Cornwall.

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