Will They Stay? Foreign-Born Out-Migration from New U.S. Destinations

Publication Date:
Jan 2019
Project Programs:

Immigrants living in new destinations in 1995 were 2.5 times more likely to have migrated to another labor market by 2000 as immigrants living in traditional places. The researchers look at two competing explanations for immigrants’ differential internal migration patterns, namely that immigrants prefer areas with relatively large nativity concentrations which provide them with social support versus immigrants are target earners who prefer robust labor markets with strong employment growth and high wages. Utilizing confidential Census data for 1990 and 2000, the authors develop new destination classifications for 741 labor markets that take into account the differential growth and composition characteristics of 24 Asian, Latin American and Caribbean immigrant groups living in those markets. The empirical analysis of labor market out-migration indicates that immigrants do not see internal migration as an either/or choice between economics and social support but prefer residence places that allow them to maximize both conditions.


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