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Internal Migration of Foreign-born Latinos and Asians: Are They Assimilating Geographically?

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H., and Kao-Lee Liaw. "Internal Migration of Foreign-born Latinos and Asians: Are They Assimilating Geographically?" PSC Research Report No. 98-421. July 1998.

Changes in US immigration Laws since 1965 along with economic forces have led to sharp rises in the numbers of the nation's Latino and Asian populations. Yet, these gains have not been dispersed evenly across the national landscape but, rather, are confined to just a handful of US States and metropolitan areas. This research examines 1990 census migration data to determine if more recent internal migration patterns of Latinos and Asians portend a dispersion of these groups away from the traditional "port-of-entry" areas. It addresses the questions: (1) Are US-born Latinos and Asians more likely to disperse than their foreign-born counterparts? (2) Are the more educated members of these groups more likely to disperse than those with high school educations or less? The results of our analysis suggest that although there is some dispersal among US-born Latinos and Asians, high levels of racial concentration across regions and metropolitan areas are likely to continue. This is the case because the magnitude of immigration tends to overwhelm the smaller dispersal effects of US-born and longer-term resident members of these groups. This is illustrated by recent changes in population for the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in the concluding section.

Dataset(s): 1990 US Census special migration tabulations.

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