Immigrant Groups in the Suburbs: A Reexamination of Suburbanization and Spatial Assimilation

  • Alba R
  • Logan J
  • Stults B
 et al. 
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For a number of contemporary immigrant groups, suburbanization is occur- ring at high levels, and either increased or remained stable during the 1980s, a decade of high immigration. We investigate whether these settlement pat- terns are consistent with spatial-assimilation theory. Using Public Use Microdata from the 1980 and 1990 U.S. censuses, we examine the link be- tween suburban residence and life-cycle, socioeconomic, and assimilation characteristics for 11 racial/ethnic groups, including those growing most from contemporary immigration as well as non-Hispanic whites. We find sup- port for some aspects of the theory. The determinants of suburban residence are consistent between the 1980 and 1990 models, with some important ex- ceptions: Among several groups, especially Asian groups, the effects of very recent immigration and linguistic assimilation have weakened. Our findings indicate that barriers to the entry of new immigrants to suburbia are now lower than before. The growing numbers of recent immigrants there suggest the emergence of new ethnic concentrations and infrastructure.

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  • Richard D Alba

  • John R Logan

  • Brian J Stults

  • Gilbert Marzan

  • Wenquan Zhang

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