, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 79–94

Immigrant residential segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas, 1990–2000

  • John Iceland
  • Melissa Scopilliti

DOI: 10.1353/dem.2008.0009

Cite this article as:
Iceland, J. & Scopilliti, M. Demography (2008) 45: 79. doi:10.1353/dem.2008.0009


This paper examines the extent of spatial assimilation among immigrants of different racial and ethnic origins. We use restricted data from the 1990 and 2000 censuses to calculate the levels of dissimilarity by race and Hispanic origin, nativity, and year of entry, and then run multivariate models to examine these relationships. The findings provide broad support for spatial assimilation theory. Foreign-born Hispanics, Asians, and blacks are more segregated from native-born non-Hispanic whites than are the U.S.-born of these groups. The patterns for Hispanics and Asians can be explained by the average characteristics of the foreign-born that are generally associated with higher levels of segregation, such as lower levels of income, English language ability, and homeownership. We also find that immigrants who have been in the United States for longer periods are generally less segregated than new arrivals, and once again, much of this difference can be attributed to the characteristics of immigrants. However, patterns also vary across groups. Levels of segregation are much higher for black immigrants than for Asian, Hispanic, and white immigrants. In addition, because black immigrants are, on average, of higher socioeconomic status than native-born blacks, such characteristics do not help explain their very high levels of segregation.

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Iceland
    • 1
  • Melissa Scopilliti
    • 2
  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of MarylandCollege Park
  2. 2.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of MarylandCollege Park