This article lays out a foundation for a demographic perspective on the development of immigrant communities. Such a perspective can strengthen the connections between in-depth ethnographic analysis and macro-level trends. New applications of the so-called Lexis diagram are introduced in order to relate the current composition of immigrant communities to past immigration policy and migration patterns. The article also explores relationships between the demographic structure of immigrant populations and their transnational orientation. The analyses are demonstrated empirically through a case study of migration from Cape Verde to the Netherlands.