This NSF funded project started in the summer of 2010 and is run with my long-term collaborator, Richard Wright of Dartmouth College. PROJECT SUMMARY: The US economy has cycled from a period of significant growth into the deepest recession since the 1930s. What impact has this swing had on the geographical distribution of immigrants? In the last two decades, immigrants settled increasingly outside California and other traditional gateway states. Immigrant populations grew rapidly in the South and Midwest, regions that previously had been relatively untouched by the upswing in immigration that began approximately half a century ago. Constrained labor demand and relatively expensive living costs in gateway locations reduced the attraction of these traditional places of settlement. The South and Midwest offered affordable prices and a seemingly insatiable demand for immigrant labor in sectors like construction, services, and competitive manufacturing. The credit-fueled boom that drew many immigrants to these new locations has fizzled and there are signs that migration behavior has also changed. Fewer people are migrating across state lines. The total annual inflow of immigrants is also diminishing and some states are experiencing slower growth or declines in their foreign-born populations. This project explores these trends, particularly as they relate to the shifting distribution of immigrants within the US. It does so by incorporating an investigation of these issues with existing theoretical frameworks for understanding immigrant locational distributions. This synthesis yields three research questions:
1. How do immigrants – as both new arrivals from abroad and as internal migrants - respond to the pull of enclaves of co-nationals and the geography of employment opportunities?
2. How do individual and group characteristics affect these responses to enclaves and labor markets?
3. And, crosscutting these first two questions, are the responses to enclaves and markets – and their mediation by individuals and groups - different in the current economic hard times from what occurred in the generally prosperous era of the 1990s?
These questions hinge on a tension between the geography of labor markets and ethnic enclaves. Market pressures stimulated a relocation of immigrant settlement away from traditional gateways and associated enclaves. Immigrant populations expanded in new destinations forming new enclaves, which drew in more newcomers in a cumulative causative process. At the same time, immigrants who had been in the country for a time acquired new language and other skills enabling them to reduce their reliance on enclave support systems and disperse in search of opportunities. The intellectual merit of this proposal will derive from measurement of these effects on immigrant locational choice across the economic cycle. Census microdata from 1980, 1990 and 2000 allow us to investigate the evolution of new destination geography in a period of relatively prosperity and economic calm, and to assess the effects of a variety of factors on individual and group locational choice during this time. Annual American Community Survey (ACS) microdata, available since 2005, allows us to continue the analysis through the recession and identify any change in effects. Data for 2008 will be released this fall and by the conclusion of this project at the end of 2013 we will have analyzed the annual series of ACS data on immigrant location and migration through 2012 when the recession should have run its course.
This Russell Sage Foundation and NSF funded project is run with Steven Holloway of the University of Georgia and Richard Wright of Dartmouth College. PROJECT SUMMARY: This research investigates the neighborhood geographies of mixed-race households in US metropolitan areas using the restricted access one-in-six samples of the 1990 and 2000 US Census. Most previous research on mixed-race households investigates partnership formation, asking how mixed-race unions come to be. This project asks how mixed-race unions come to be in place. It explores the implications of mixed-race household geographies for residential segregation and for multiracial identity formation. The work has major significance for our understandings of racial formation, urban social geographies, and household decision making. Restricted 1990 and 2000 census data is key to this project. These data provide information on individuals and households in a format similar to the Public Use Micro Samples but in a much larger sample that includes census tract and block group identifiers. As such, these data allow us to map the neighborhood geographies of mixed-race households and to model how neighborhood characteristics affect mixed-race household location in urban space and the racial identity mixed-race couples assign to their minor children.
Some key publications from this project to date:
Richard Wright, Holloway, Steven, Mark Ellis (2011), Reconsidering Both Diversity And Segregation: A Reply to Both Poulsen, Johnston, and Forrest; And Peach. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37: 167-167.
Holloway, Steven, Richard Wright, Mark Ellis, The Racially Fragmented City? Neighborhood Racial Segregation and Diversity Jointly Considered. Forthcoming in Professional Geographer
Wright, Richard, Mark Ellis, and Steven Holloway, “Where Black-White Mixed Couples Live.” Forthcoming in Urban Geography.
Holloway, Steven, Richard Wright, Mark Ellis and Margaret East (2009) “Place, Scale, and the Racial Claims Made by White-Minority Parents for their Multiracial Children in the 1990 Census” Ethnic and Racial Studies 32: 522-547
Ellis, Mark, Steven Holloway, Richard Wright, and Margaret Hudson (2007) “The Effects of Mixed Race Households on Residential Segregation” Urban Geography. 28: 554–577.
Houston, Serin, Richard Wright, Mark Ellis, Steven Holloway, and Margaret Hudson (2005) "Places of possibility: where mixed-race partners meet" Progress in Human Geography 29: 700-717.
Holloway, Steven, Mark Ellis, Richard Wright, and Margaret Hudson, (2005). “Partnering “Out” and Fitting In: Residential Segregation and the Neighborhood Contexts of Mixed Race Households” Population, Space and Place. 11: 299-324