Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 107–133 | Cite as

Racial diversity, immigrants and the well-being of residents: evidence from US counties

Original Paper

Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence that racial diversity and immigrant population at the local level tend to be associated with lower life satisfaction for Whites by matching individual data with the county-level population data during the period 2005–2010. The magnitudes I find suggest that a ten-percentage-point increase in the share of the non-White population (approximately one half of a standard deviation) is associated with 0.006 and 0.007 points reduction in life satisfaction on a four-point scale for White men and White women, respectively. For White men, this effect appears to be driven by the percentage of the population that is Black. I also find that a ten-percentage-point increase in the percentage of the immigrant population (approximately 2 standard deviations) is associated with 0.009 and 0.021 points reduction in life satisfaction for White men and White women, respectively. The percentage of the non-White population seems to reduce older Whites’ life satisfaction more than that of younger Whites. Though the scale of the findings relating to the impact of local racial compositions and immigrant population is relatively modest, the findings may pose a challenge in the coming years as the percentage of the population that is non-White rises in the USA.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Happiness Well-being Racial Immigration 

JEL classifications

J15 I31 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author thanks three anonymous referees for their constructive comments and useful suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arkansas Tech UniversityRussellvilleUSA

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