Ethnicity, Immigration, and Migration to Nontraditional Geographic Areas

Melissa Chiu, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper investigates immigrants' five-year residential mobility patterns across different types of labor market areas, paying particular attention to three types of nontraditional destinations: nonmetropolitan labor market areas, suburban, and areas of low coethnic population. Informed by social-psychological, economic, and sociological theoretical frameworks of race relations, social capital, and spatial assimilation, I examine how immigrants' decisions to move to classical versus nontraditional geographic areas are affected by local ethnic and immigrant composition, and how these effects vary by immigrant group and by duration of time in the U.S. Thus, this study shows whether classical spatial assimilation models fit the case of contemporary immigrants, as well as the extent to which contemporary immigrants exhibit new patterns of geographic settlement.

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Presented in Session 45: New Patterns of Immigration and Settlement in the United States