Immigrant Settlement Patterns in the United States in the 1990s: Can Existing Theories Explain the Changes?

Douglas T. Gurak, Cornell University
Mary M. Kritz, Cornell University

Utilizing 1990 and 2000 5% PUMS files and recodes of PUMAs that provide consistent geographic coding for both censuses, this paper describes the extent and nature of the dispersal of the foreign born into a range of non-traditional destinations during the 1990s. The geographic recodes are based on the 1990 Labor Market Areas of the PUMS-L with necessary adjustments made to accommodate differences with PUMA coding and changes in PUMA coding between 1990 and 2000. The analysis examines the relative power of three theoretical frameworks to specify the most important forces driving this evolving settlement pattern. Models representing the spatial assimilation, spatial network, and economic perspectives will be estimated and evaluated. The analysis will be multilevel and focus on modeling the destination choices of foreign-born migrants in the 1990s as functions of individual human capital and acculturation status, origin and previous U.S. region of residence and LMR economic conditions.

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Presented in Session 91: New Patterns of Migrant and Immigrant Settlement