Immigration, Spatial Assimilation, and Segmented Paths within the Metropolis

  • K. Bruce Newbold McMaster University
Keywords: Immigration, Assimilation, Metropolitan, Spatial Scale, Arrival Cohort


The settlement of recent immigrants in suburban locations at the time of their arrival challenges the assumptions of the spatial assimilation model. Using Public Use Microdata from the 1990 census and carefully defined immigrant cohorts, this paper investigates the settlement location of recent (1965-74 and 1975-84) immigrant cohorts through the lens of an extended segmented assimilation framework. Analysis is completed at two spatial scales, including central city versus outlying areas choice within the New York CMSA and at a broader, national scale where settlement outside of traditional immigrant gateways offers additional insight. Results suggest that the segmented assimilation framework better describes the emergent settlement pattern than the spatial assimilation theory, with the conclusion arguing that space must be better represented within the framework when accounting for observed differences in assimilation.


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