Decentralization of the Foreign Born Population: The Role of Gateway States

Katherine Hempstead, Rutgers University

The U.S. foreign born population is becoming less geographically centralized. The 2000 census show increased immigrant outmigration from gateway states like California and New York. Additionally, the percentage of new arrivals settling in gateway states has declined. These trends suggest that the importance of gateway states may be declining. This study examines mobility among the foreign born. Using the 2000 PUMS, I examine intra-state and inter-state migration, both in and out of gateway states. Outmigration from gateway states occurred at a lower rate than did that from other states. Rates of intra-state migration were highest within gateway states, and intra-state migration tended to relocate immigrants from more to less “immigrant-intensive” locations. Multivariate analysis reveals that mobility behavior varied by year of entry, country of origin and human capital and demographic characteristics. While decentralization is occurring, gateway states have retained an important role in immigrant settlement.

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Presented in Session 46: Intermetropolitan Migration in the United States