The Impact of Ebbing Immigration in Los Angeles: New Insights from an Established Gateway

Dowell Myers, University of Southern California

Los Angeles was once a premier immigrant gateway. In 1990, the state of California was home to 38% of all recent immigrant arrivals in the U.S., half of those living in Los Angeles county alone. But there was a significant slowdown after 1990, and other states and metros have drawn attention as emerging new immigrant destinations (Singer 2004). What has been neglected is the substantial change occurring in established gateway concentrations-on the "backside"-as immigrants spread out to new destinations. During the 1990s, new arrivals declined by 20% in Los Angeles. More than half million immigrants who arrived in the 1970s and 80s also were lost from California, 5/6 of those from Los Angeles. The paper explores what types of immigrants have departed, in terms of race/ethnicity, age cohorts, and education levels, and it addresses the impact of the changing mix on falling regional poverty rates and rising homeownership.

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Presented in Session 125: Migration, Migrants, and Places