Immigrant Inequality in U.S. Suburbia: Who Loses Out and Why?

Reanne Frank , The Ohio State University
Ilana Akresh, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Contemporary U.S. immigrants are located in a more diverse set of residential contexts than at any point in U.S. history. These include new places (i.e. new destination communities) as well as new spaces (e.g. the majority of immigrants now live in suburbs). We use data from the New Immigrant Survey, supplemented with geocoded residential addresses to estimate a series of multilevel multinomial logistic models aimed at better understanding immigrant suburbanization among new legal permanent residents. Our study demonstrates the inappropriateness of traditional assessments that rely on a simple binary suburban/urban divide. Accounting for heterogeneity in the quality of U.S. suburban neighborhoods reveals significant sub-group differences in immigrant access to advantaged suburbs, differences that persist even after accounting for individual and metropolitan-level variation. Our results suggest that any calls for the housing and zoning policies that regulate suburbanization to proceed more equitably, must also be extended to explicitly include our country’s newest members.

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 Presented in Session 237. The Demography of Authorized Migration