New faces in new spaces in new places: Residential attainment among newly legalized immigrants in established, new, and minor destinations

Reanne Frank, Ilana Redstone Akresh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Immigrants at the beginning of the twenty-first century are located in a more diverse set of metropolitan areas than at any point in U.S. history. Whether immigrants' residential prospects are helped or hindered in new versus established immigrant-receiving areas has been the subject of debate. Using multilevel models and data from the New Immigrant Survey (NIS), a nationally representative sample of newly legalized immigrants to the U.S., we move beyond aggregate-level analyses of residential segregation to specify the influence of destination type on individual-level immigrant residential outcomes. The findings indicate that immigrants in new and minor destinations are significantly more likely to live in tracts with relatively more non-Hispanic whites and relatively fewer immigrants and poor residents. These residential advantages persist net of individual-level controls but are largely accounted for by place-to-place differences in metropolitan composition and structure. Our exclusive focus on newly legalized immigrants means that our findings do not necessarily contradict the possibility of worse residential prospects in new areas of settlement, but rather qualifies it as not extending to the newly authorized population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - May 1 2016



  • Geographic dispersion
  • Immigrants
  • New destination
  • Residential attainment
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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