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The allure of new immigrant destinations and the Great Recession in the United States.

Authors
  • Ellis, Mark1
  • Wright, Richard2
  • Townley, Matthew1
  • 1 University of Washington.
  • 2 Dartmouth College.
Type
Published Article
Journal
The International migration review
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
48
Issue
1
Pages
3–33
Identifiers
PMID: 24791036
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the 1990s, the immigrant population in the United States dispersed to non-traditional settlement locations (what have become known as "new immigrant destinations"). This paper examines whether the allure of new destinations persisted in the 2000s with a particular focus on the internal migration of the foreign born during the recent deep recessionary period and its aftermath. Three specific questions motivate the analysis. First, are immigrants, much like the US-born population, becoming less migratory within the country over time? Second, is immigrant dispersal from traditional gateways via internal migration continuing despite considerable economic contraction in many new destination metropolitan areas? Third, is immigration from aboard a substitute for what appears to be declining immigrant internal migration to new destinations? The findings reveal a close correlation between the declining internal migration propensity of the US-born and immigrants in the last two decades. We also observe parallels between the geographies of migration of native- and foreign-born populations with both groups moving to similar metropolitan areas in the 1990s. This redistributive association, however, weakened in the subsequent decade as new destination metropolitan areas lost their appeal for both groups, especially immigrants. There is no evidence to suggest that immigration from abroad is substituting for the decline in immigrant redistribution through internal migration to new destinations. Across destination types the relationship between immigration from abroad and the internal migration of the foreign born remained the same before, during, and after the Great Recession.

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