Spatial patterns of immigrant assimilation

This research compares the contemporary areal patterning of cultural and economic assimilation with patterns expected from a model of urban spatial assimilation described by Massey and modified by us. Using 1990 census data (PUMS) for 12 immigrant groups in the greater Los Angeles area, we locate the ethnic concentrations of each group and identify two additional zones based on distance from the concentration. The zones represent varying degrees of spatial assimilation. This method allows us to compare the distribution of immigrant cohorts over time and the degree of cultural and economic assimilation of residents of the different zones. Our findings confirm most geographical aspects of the modified model. Zonal differentiation occurs in the expected direction and is statistically significant although not strong for most groups. More recently arrived immigrant groups and those with higher incomes tend to show greater differences in assimilation between zones.