Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 379–414 | Cite as

Determinants of Mexican-Origin Dropout: The Roles of Mexican Latino/a Destinations and Immigrant Generation

  • Elizabeth Ackert


Adolescents of Mexican origin have higher than average school dropout rates, but the risk of school non-enrollment among this subgroup varies substantially across geographic areas. This study conducts a multilevel logistic regression analysis of data from the 2005–2009 American Community Survey to evaluate whether spatial heterogeneity in school non-enrollment rates among Mexican-origin youth (n = 71,269) can be attributed to the histories of states and local areas as Mexican Latino/a receiving gateways. This study also determines whether the association between new destinations and school non-enrollment varies within the Mexican-origin population by nativity and duration of residence. Net of background controls, the risk of non-enrollment does not differ significantly between Mexican-origin youth living in states that are newer Mexican Latino/a gateways versus those in more established destinations, in part because Mexican-origin school non-enrollment rates are heterogeneous across newer destination states. At the more local Public Use Microdata Area level, however, Mexican-origin youth in newer gateways have a higher risk of non-enrollment than those in established destinations, revealing the importance of local-level contexts as venues for integration. The disparity in non-enrollment between Mexican-origin youth in new versus established destination PUMAs is apparent for all generational groups, but is widest among 1.25-generation adolescents who arrived in the country as teenagers, suggesting that local new destinations are particularly ill-equipped to deal with the educational needs of migrant newcomers.


Immigration/migration Immigrant destinations Dropout Latinos/Hispanics 



Funding was provided by the Institute of Education Sciences (Grant Nos. R305B090012, R305A150027) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant Nos. R24 HD042828, T32 HD007543, R24 HD42849, T32 HD007081-35).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Research CenterThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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