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Immigration Impacts on Internal Migration of the Poor: 1990 Census Evidence for U.S. States

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. 1995. "Immigration Impacts on Internal Migration of the Poor: 1990 Census Evidence for U.S. States." International Journal of Population Geography, 1(1): 51-67.

This article presents newly available migration data from the 1990 U.S. census to assess immigration and internal migration components as they affect state poverty populations. New immigrant waves are heavily focused on only a few 'port-of-entry' states. It is suggested that these immigrants have already had an impact on internal migration into and out of these 'high immigration states', and have also altered the national system of internal migration patterns. This article addresses three questions: How do the magnitudes of poverty population out-migration from high immigration states compare with those of other states? Is this out-migration selective on particular social and demographic groups? Is immigration a significant determinant of internal migration of the poor population?

The results of this analysis are consistent with the view that recent, focused immigration is associated with out-migration among a state's poor longer-term residents. At the local level, there is a demographic displacement of low-income residents by immigrants, which involves more than just numbers of people. Rather, it involves a turnover of race, ethnic, and skill-level characteristics in the state's poor population that can affect race relations, public service requirements, and labor force quality.

Data used: Census: U.S., 1990.

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