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Denver’s Growing Immigrant Population Might Boost Locals’ Mental Health

Denver, Colorado, is currently grappling with a surge in immigrant populations, with daily occupancy in migrant shelters surpassing 3,000 people. This spike, the highest since tracking began, follows a summer lull. In other words, Denver is becoming a preferred destination for newcomers. At the time of writing, 3,091 migrants from Central and South America found shelter in the city, necessitating urgent support and resources.

Credit: Pexels

How Does Denver’s Rising Immigration Impact Locals?

Two significant studies provide insights into the potential positive effects of hosting immigrants. The first, conducted in Turkey by Sule Akkoyunlu and Deniz Sert (2015), emphasizes social and economic integration between newcomers and host populations. It highlights that proximity and regular interactions foster trust, reduce feelings of insecurity, and enhance informal social networks. Denver’s experience aligns with this approach, suggesting the potential for social integration and economic collaboration.

graphic of the Denver immigrant population 2023
The Denver immigrant population increased exponentially over the past months. Credit: City and County of Denver

The second study, conducted in Rwanda by David Muvandimwe, Kevin Savage, and Jennifer Holdaway (2021), focuses on the positive social implications of hosting refugees in a low-income country. It reveals that long-term presence and cultural proximity between refugees and the local population contribute to a socially cohesive and peaceful environment. Denver’s growing immigrant population reflects the importance of context, where the presence of newcomers can lead to positive social outcomes. By embracing immigrants, the city can enhance social cohesion, increase economic opportunities, and create a vibrant, culturally enriched community.


The Bright Side of Immigration

While challenges accompany Denver’s rising immigrant population, the city can harness its potential for a positive impact on mental health. Integration initiatives emphasizing social cohesion and cultural exchanges can lead to positive outcomes for Denver residents. As the city seeks state and federal support for its immigrant population, it can leverage these studies to make a compelling case for the positive impact that immigration can bring to the city and its residents. Denver’s growing immigrant population allows residents to broaden their horizons, learn about different cultures, and engage in economic and social cooperation that strengthens the community.

Adele Joanne
Adele Joanne
Adele Joanne is a content manager studying the effects of mindfulness on people in today's fast-changing society. Her eight-year experience in copywriting blends with her passion for meditation with a clear goal in mind: helping others live in the present moment one day at a time.

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