National Origin Differences in Major Asian Groups’ Spatial Assimilation in the United States

Weiwei Zhang, Brown University

The paper examines competing theories that explain national origin variations in residential assimilation of Asian Americans in the United States with a particular attention to the effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Data from the aggregate census tabulation tables and the individual sample files allow the analyses of locational attainment at the individual level. The findings reveal that foreign-born status, English-language proficiency, educational attainment, self-employment, and home-ownership are found to be significantly associated with the probability of living in co-ethnic neighborhoods. Yet, these effects vary across groups. Contrary to the interpretation of the standard assimilation model, household income is found to be positively associated with the propensity of living in co-ethnic neighborhoods. The results show that in addition to assimilating with whites, Asian members have alternative options.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment