Hispanic Trends

Leaders: David Grusky, Tomás Jiménez, Doug Massey, Beth Mattingly

This RG was created after the CPI received a sub-award to study Hispanic poverty, inequality, and mobility. The objective is to document key poverty and inequality trends, to begin the task of explaining what underlies them, and to then populate a new website, with the results coming out of this research.

We are taking on five lines of research under the leadership of both young and more distinguished scholars. The “basic trends” group is documenting key developments in Hispanic population distribution, income, education, poverty, employment, and “safety net” use; the “new generations” group is examining whether second and third generation immigrants are successfully incorporating into the labor market; the “social mobility” group is assessing whether Hispanics continue to have ample opportunities to improve their economic situation during their lifetime; the “social policy” group is examining how recent legal and policy changes have affected Hispanic natives and immigrants; and the “health” group is exploring the sources of deteriorating health among Hispanic immigrants and natives. The work of this RG was featured in a Pathways Magazine special report on poverty, inequality, and mobility among Hispanics.



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Hispanic Poverty & Inequality

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Doug Massey
David Grusky
Tomás Jiménez
Beth Mattingly

Why Isn't the Hispanic Poverty Rate Rising?

It is often assumed that, as the size of the undocumented population grows, poverty rates among Hispanics will increase. But in fact poverty rates have proven to be stable. Why?

Podcast: Changes to Federal Aid Programs

Diantha Parker talks with Indivar Dutta-Gupta of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities about how changes to safety net programs could affect low and middle income Americans.

Immigrants Equilibriate Local Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession

This paper demonstrates that low-skilled Mexican-born immigrants' location choices in the U.S. respond strongly to changes in local labor demand, and that this geographic elasticity helps equalize spatial differences in labor market outcomes for low-skilled native workers, who are much less responsive.

Generational Status and Mexican American Political Participation: The Benefits and Limitations of Assimilation

The authors investigate self-reported voter turnout and ethnic political activity across four-plus generations of Mexican Americans. Using a 1999 national survey, multivariate results indicate that the likelihood of Mexican American voting increases largely in a monotonic manner across generations while participation in ethnic political activity begins to decline after having one parent born in the United States.

Spatial Assimilation in U.S. Cities and Communities? Emerging Patterns of Hispanic Segregation from Blacks and Whites

This article provides a geographically inclusive empirical framework for studying changing U.S. patterns of Hispanic segregation. Whether Hispanics have joined the American mainstream depends in part on whether they translate upward mobility into residence patterns that mirror the rest of the nation. Based on block and place data from the 1990–2010 decennial censuses, our results provide evidence of increasing spatial assimilation among Hispanics, both nationally and in new immigrant destinations.

The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America's Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns?

The conventional wisdom is that racial diversity promotes positive race relations and reduces racial residential segregation between blacks and whites. We use data from the 1990–2010 decennial censuses and 2007–2011 ACS to test this so-called “buffering hypothesis.” We identify cities, suburbs, and small towns that are virtually all white, all black, all Asian, all Hispanic, and everything in between. The results show that the most racially diverse places—those with all four racial groups (white, black, Hispanic, and Asian) present—had the lowest black-white levels of segregation in 2010.

Origins of the New Latino Underclass

Over the past four decades, the Latino population of the United States was transformed from a small, ethnically segmented population of Mexicans in the southwest, Puerto Ricans in New York, and Cubans in Miami into a large national population dominated by Mexicans, Central Americans, and South Americans. This transformation occurred through mass immigration, much of it undocumented, to the point where large fractions of non-Caribbean Hispanics lack legal protections and rights in the United States. Rising illegality is critical to understanding the disadvantaged status of Latinos today.

Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity

Unlike the wave of immigration that came through Ellis Island and then subsided, immigration to the United States from Mexico has been virtually uninterrupted for one hundred years. In this vividly detailed book, Tomás R. Jiménez takes us into the lives of later-generation descendents of Mexican immigrants, asking for the first time how this constant influx of immigrants from their ethnic homeland has shaped their assimilation.

Balancing Federal, State, and Local Priorities in Police-Immigrant Relations

The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State


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