Diverging Trajectories of Immigrant Residential Assimilation, 2000-2005: Homeownership Attainment and Household Formation

Zhou Yu, University of Utah

This paper studies the residential assimilation of Mexican, Asian Indian, and Chinese immigrants in the top 50 metropolitan areas, along with U.S.-born, non-Hispanic whites as a common reference group. The two indicators to be examined are homeownership attainment measured at the household level and household formation measured at the individual level. We focus on one arrival cohort who came in 1985-94 and analyze the pace of their assimilation from 2000 to 2005, a period of unprecedented run-up in housing price. The three immigrant groups have diverging trajectories of assimilation. The Chinese are the slowest in forming renter households, which leads to their largest increase in homeownership. Mexicans have the smallest homeownership advancement, while Asian Indians are the most likely to form independent households. The different trajectories of residential adjustment reflect the differences in their paths of immigration, economic status, and residential locations. Large differences remain after accounting for those factors.

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Presented in Session 64: Housing and Population