Who knew Tennessee was such a hot spot for Kurds?

According to a new analysis of foreign born populations by demographer, Wendell Cox, the fastest growth in the numbers of newcomers is taking place in unusual spots around America, all essentially in Red States. Topping the list is Nashville, which has doubled its number of immigrants in the last decade.

“Besides the Grand Old Opry, the city also boasts the nation’s largest Kurdish population, and a thriving ‘Little Kurdistan,’ as well as growing Mexican, Somali and other immigrant enclaves,” says Joel Kotkin, a contributor to Forbes magazine who analyzed the implications.

“Other cities are equally surprising,” he says.

In the second spot, it’s Birmingham, Alabama – followed by Indianapolis, Louisville, and Charlotte, NC, which have all doubled their foreign born population between 2000 and 2011.

In sixth place is Richmond, Virginia; followed by Raleigh, North Carolina; Orlando and Jacksonville in Florida, and finally Columbus, Ohio.

Wait a second.  Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana?  Sure, Ohio, Virginia and Florida have been on the fence lately, but for the most part, all of these states are Republican-friendly.  How could it be that so many self-loathing foreign-born immigrants would choose to settle in such “racist” and “bigoted” Republican states?!

Oh, wait.  Now I remember:

“The reasons are not too difficult to fathom. In the modern global economy, migrants represent the veritable ‘canaries in the coalmine’. They go to economic opportunities are often the greatest, which often means thriving places like Nashville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbus or at No. 11, Austin.”