Class Note for POL 596A with Professor Garcia at UA
Class Note for POL 596A with Professor Garcia at UA
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Immigrant children born in Mexico are more distinct than immigrant children born in other foreign nations This distinction is most obvious in terms of comparative naturalization rates but extends to other dimensions as well Mexican adolescents are imprisoned at rates approximately 80 percent greater than immigrant adolescents generally Naturalization rates among the foreignborn children of immigrants have been increasing In this respect the behavior of foreigniborn domestically educated immigrants resembles that of their parents educated abroad Disaggregation by metropolitan area reveals widely varying rates of assimilation due largely to the different combinations of immigrant groups that reside in each and the different characteristics of those groups Polyethnic New York City which still attracts large numbers of European immigrants has the second highest assimilation index value among the metropolitan areas defined San Diego despite its proximity to the Mexican border has the highest The methodology used to compute the assimilation index is outlined in the report and reviewed extensively in a more technical appendix The method has been designed to take advantage of more than a century s worth of historical data on the status of immigrants in the United States made available to the public by the United States Census Bureau and to provide the opportunity for annual updates The assimilation index points to marks of success to encouraging recent trends and also to areas of concern Within these areas of concern the index provides some insight into the nature of the problem and the universe of appropriate potential policy responses It is important to note however that this report neither proposes nor endorses any policy responses lts sole purpose is to present information in a manner useful to concerned citizens and policymakers who hope to make informed decisions regarding the proper course of action r39leasur llsg Irrirnifgiam Ainll39illliillol l ll the United rates CONTENTS 10 16 21 25 27 35 38 43 Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Assimilation in 2006 Chapter 3 Assimilation in Historical Context Chapter 4 Case Studies Mexico Vietnam and Italy Chapter 5 The Next Generation Chapter 6 Conclusions Appendix AssimilationIndex Values by Birthplace 2006 AssimilationIndex Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 Endnotes Measm Ia39ug li nmigian i Assn nilarion in lire United States M ay 2008 mm oamm ugtu MEASURING IMMIGRANT ASSIIVIIIATION IN THE UNITED STATES 1350b L Vigd CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The immigrant population of the United States has nearly quadrupled since 1970 and doubled since 1990 This re markable growth plotted in Figure 1 has been driven in Lima large part by immigration from Latin America and Asia1 The immigrant population has grown at more than twice the rate of the population as a whole Recent Census Bureau estimates indicate that there are more than 10 million MeXicaniborn individuals cur rently residing in the United States The number of immigrants from this one country today exceeds the total number of immigrants from all nations little more than a generation ago Moreover a considi erable portion of MeXicaniborn residents of the United States are undocumented living and working in violation of the law A study released by the Census Bureau in 2001 indicates that there were nearly 9 million immigrants from all countries who did not fall into n of cially estimated legal category at that time Nearly half of these immigrants of questionable legal status were from MexicoZ This remarkable growth has been accompanied by continued and escalating calls to reform immigration policy not only at the national level but within large and small communities across the country Immigration policy debates touch on a wide array of arguments economic political ethical legal and emotional In many cases these debates are also in uenced by incomplete or misleading infor7 mation All sides in the debate face a tradeoff between conveying VI333w lisg llTII39 If IAI Il AEJIITIIICIIIOI I ill tin United rates m tJ Figure l The ForeignBorn Population of the United States by Region of Birth 196072005 40000000 05000000 0 1000 1070 IMeXlEo ElAmeHcas except MEXlEO DAsia DEurope DAlHEaOceanla S 2 00000000 3 a 0 25000000 n c 5 20000000 1 c9 c 497 9 15000000 y I D 8 u 10000000 JWMWquot 5000000 r lt 4 1000 1000 2000 a concise message and oversimplifying an inherently complex issue The purpose of this report is to present information relevant to these ongoing debates by measuring the degree of distinction between the native and foreign born populations of the United States or alternatively their degree of assimilation3 The analysis introduces a numeric index of assimilation which measures the extent to which the foreigniborn and nativeiborn can be distinguished from each other on the basis of commonly observed social and economic data The index measures the ability of a statistical algorithm to predict which individuals in a random sample of United States residents were born abroad An appeni dix to this report provides both a general and a more technical overview of the method used to compute the index The index can be computed for individual countryiofiorigin groups sets of immigrants reside ing in specific cities or regions and for immigrants who have spent varying lengths of time in the United States The index which makes use of data provided by the Census Bureau can be computed using data capturing conditions as recent as 2006 and as distant as 1900 The index can serve to answer two simple but important questions Are the differences between M 3y 2 003 immigrants and natives today larger than they were in the recent or distant past And how rapidly do these differences shrink as immigrants spend more time in the United States The study of immigrant assimilation is not new nor is it in a period of dormancy Past studies of immii grant assimilation range from detailed observation of particular immigrant enclaves to broader statistical analyses of nationally representative samples4 The observational studies provide rich detail on the habi its and interpersonal connections of actual people but can be criticized on the grounds that they don t permit generalization about an entire population of immigrants The broader statistical analyses are easily generalized but often focus on a limited set of mea7 sures the most prominent ones being earnings and other laboriforce outcomes Englishispeaking ability naturalization and intermarriage The assimilation index builds on this previous litera7 ture by using broad nationally representative samples that include nativeiborn Americans and by analyzing a wider array of measures The index summarizes this large quantity of information in a form that can be applied to very broad and very narrow groups of immigrants The method requires no prior assumptions regarding which characteristics are most effective in distinguishing immigrants from natives Moreover the inclusion of irrelevant characteristicsithat is ones that do not actually help distinguish immigrants from nativesihas no impact on the indeX The social and economic data used to compute the overall or composite assimilation indeX can be sepa7 rated into three sets of factors which in turn can be used in isolation to compute more narrowly focused component indexes Economic assimilation describes the extent to which immigrants or groups of immigrants make produce tive contributions to society indistinguishable in aggregate from the contributions of the nativeiborn Economic assimilation is low when immigrants clus ter at certain points on the economic ladderimost notably the lowiskilled rungsiand high when their distribution on the economic ladder matches that of nativeiborn Americans The economic assimilation indeX is particularly rel evant to two major areas of policy debate the impact of immigration on the labor market and the scal impact of immigration A simple calculation suggests that immigrant participation in the labor market generi ates net bene ts through lower consumer prices and higher shareholder returns of 50 billion per year5 But such bene ts are accompanied by reductions in wages for native workers competing in the same market6 It has also been argued that the immigration of highly skilled entrepreneurial workers creates newjobs7 The economic assimilation indeX can help track whether the skills of immigrants are matched to or mismatched with those of native workers From a scal perspective8 the economic assimilation indeX reveals information that can potentially address concerns that immigrants take up welfare bene ts at disproportionate rates9 or rely on charitable provision of health care10 Economic assimilation also correlates with immigrants contributions to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds11 and may help determine the impact of immigrants housing demand on property values and local property tax revenues12 The following factors are used to measure economic assimilation Earned income in the year prior to the survey not available for 190k1930 Laboriforce participation Unemployment not available for 190k1930 A quantitative ranking of occupations by aver age income in that occupation in 1950 Educational attainment not available for 190k1950 Home ownership not available for 190k1930 Since the laboriforce participation and earnings pat terns of males and females have historically been quite distinct the indeX measures the immigrantinative dif ferences in these factors separately by gender Cultural assimilation is the eXtent to which immii grants or groups of immigrants adopt customs and practices indistinguishable in aggregate from those of the nativeiborn Factors considered in the measure ment of cultural assimilation include intermarriage and the ability to speak English which have been the focus of many previous efforts to track immigrant assimilation in the United States Cultural assimilation also incorporates information on marital status and childbearing It is important to note that cultural as similation is not a measure of a group s conformity with any preconceived ideal Changes in the customs and practices of the nativeiborm can promote cultural assimilation just as easily as changes among the for eigniborn Some of the most spirited charges in immigration policy debates concern the cultural aspects of immii grants integration into American society While some aspects of this debate such as the value of traditional American culture are relatively abstract other aspects are very concrete State and local governments for eXample often face cost burdens associated with pro viding servicesimost notably public educationito noniEnglishispeaking immigrant groups13 Incorporate ing childbearing patterns into the indeX allows it to measure the potential impact of immgration on public schools in the near term and on broader scal issues in the long term Marital patterns including the decii Vt235wth lmt am 351 t trim in the United 39 t has sion to marry a nativeiborn spouse or the decision to reside in the United States without one s spouse provide clues as to immigrants longiterm intentions which are critical to understanding the longiterm scal impact of immigration The following factors are used to measure cultural assimilation Ability to speak English lntermarriage whether an individual s spouse is nativeiborn Number of children Marital status Civic assimilation is a measure of immigrants formal participation in American society primarily through naturalization Since nativeiborn residents of the United States are citizens by default civic assimilai tion increases as the proportion of immigrants who are naturalized citizens increases The indeX of civic assimilation also incorporates information on past or present military service except in the years from 1900 to 1930 Since military service is more common among males than females the indeX measures the immigrantinative difference separately by gender Both naturalization and military service are signals of a strong commitment to the United Statesithough the power of these signals is directly in uenced by government policy The government sets standards for naturalization and to some eXtent determines the bene ts of naturalization by setting differential policies for citizens and noncitizens military recruit ment needs determine the number of opportunities for service in the armed forces Changes in civic as similation could in theory re ect either changes in immigrant civic attitudes or changesiperhaps even anticipated changesiin policy It is important to note that the Census Bureau collects no information on immigrants legal status which means that this study cannot use legal status as a factor in the computation of civic assimilation To some eXtent civic assimilation is an even stronger indicator of immigrants intentions than cultural as similation The choice to become a naturalized citii zen or to serve in the United States military shows a tangible dedication to this country Civic assimilation may thus forecast the longirun impact of immigration both in a concrete scal sense and in a more abstract cultural sense The information in this report will not settle larger debates over immigration policy Assimilation may not be necessary for immigrants to make net positive contributions to society Assimilation may even be undesirable under certain circumstances For eXample immigration may have the most positive net impact on economic growth if immigrants are economically distinct from natives Immigrants may choose to natui ralize because they fear a change in immigration policy rather than because they wish to make a commitment to the United States Detailed information on immigrant assimilation will help those wishing to make reasoned arguments in the immigration policy debate but it will not resolve the controversies in and of itself The remainder of this report is structured as follows Chapter 2 reports basic results for 2006 Chapter 3 places these results in conteXt by reporting additional indeX calculations for the period between 1900 and 2005 Whereas the assimilation indeX itself provides only a snapshot of immigrants status in the host society analysis of data over time can actually illuminate the assimilation process itself and changes in that process over time Chapter 4 augments the analysis by studying immigrants belonging to Generation 15 those indi viduals born abroad but brought by their parents to the United States before they commenced their formal edu7 cation Chapter 5 presents an inidepth analysis of three immigrant groups contemporary MeXican immigrants contemporary Vietnamese immigrants and the Italian immigrants of the early twentieth century Chapter 6 summarizes the main conclusions of the study The nal chapter is a detailed methodological appendix CHAPTER 2 ASSIMILATION IN 2006 51 3aken out of context it is impossible to pass j judgment on whether a single number is high a 2 or low With this fundamental caution in mind this chapter brie y presents information on the state of assimilation in 2006 the most recent year for which relevant data are available In addition to the overall indeX values for all foreigniborn workingiage adults in the United States this chapter provides a few simple breakdowns by immigrants country of origin and met ropolitan area of residence More complete tabulations along these lines are available in the Appendix The assimilation indeX ranges from zero to 100 An indeX close to the minimum value of zero implies that one who relies on only the information used to compute the indeX can almost perfectly distinguish the foreigniborn from the nativeiborn An indeX close to the maXimum value of 100 indicates that at tributions of foreign birth are no more accurate than random guessing In 2006 the composite assimilation indeX which re ects an attempt to predict individuals nativity on the basis of economic cultural and civic indicators took on a value of 28 The algorithm for predicting which individuals are foreigniborn is not perfect that is the assimilation indeX is not zero but it performs much better than random guessing It correctly identi es Figure 2 The Assimilation Index 2006 EU 8039 7U 60 50 AU 30 20 10 I U Assimilalion iidex Cultural Economic Civic Composite foreigniborn individuals as immigrants in a sample consisting of equal numbers of foreign and native born adults in nearly sevenieighths of all cases The algorithm used to predict whether an individual was born in the United States or abroad takes advan7 tage of the following patterns in the American Come munity Survey for 2006 Foreigniborn residents of the United States are 0 Perfectly distinguishable from natives when they are not citizens of the United States 0 Much more likely to be married to another foreigniborn individual Much less likely to be able to speak English Less likely to own their residence More likely to have larger numbers of chili dren living with them 0 Overrepresented at the low and high ends of the educational distribution and under represented in the group of individuals with no more than a high school diploma or with some college education but no degree 0 Less likely to be unemployed or absent from the labor force Less likely to be veterans More likely to be working in historically higheripaying occupations but earning less than natives working in those occupations Among these patterns the rst three are by far the strongest determinants of the assimilation indeX Figure 2 shows the relative magnitude of the composi ite assimilation indeX as well as the three component indexes which focus on cultural civic or economic indicators respectively Immigrants display the greatest degree of assimilation according to these measures along economic lines14 The 2006 indeX of economic assimilation is 87 Using only information on laboriforce participation income occupation home ownership and educational attainment the best model for distini guishing the nativeiborn from the foreignborn performs only slightly better than random guessingimaking the correct guess about 56 of the time instead Of 50 IVE335w ii39ag li39ni39nigiari i 39 jiion in the United States 53 epon 3 m Civic The distinction between immigrants and natives is stronger along cultural dimensions marriage and childbearing patterns along with Englishspeaking ability The 2006 index of cultural assimilation is 62 indicating that the statistical model produces correct guesses just over twothirds of the time15 Finally the greatest degree of distinction is along civic lines citi zenship and military service The 2006 civic assimila tion index of 41 indicates that these two indicators by themselves can correctly predict nativity in nearly 80 of all cases From another perspective adding all the cultural and economic indicators to the civic indicators moves the index a relatively short distance from 41 to 28 The composite index is not a simple average of the three component indexes Each index is a measure of the power of a statistical algorithm to distinguish the nativeborn from the foreignborn on the basis of a set of indicators When the algorithm can distinguish more powerfully the index is lower that is it is easier to tell the difference between the two groups The algorithm used to compute the composite index combines the three distinct sets of information that produce the individual component indexes By using the widest range of information the composite index has a natural advantage in distinguishing the native born from the foreignborn This natural advantage implies that the composite index will almost always be lower than any of the three components for a given group of immigrants Both composite and component assimilation indexes can be computed for subgroups of the immigrant population Figure 3 shows the degree of assimilation of a set of ten large countryoforigin groups in 200616 Among these large groups the assimilation index var ies from a low of 15 for those born in Mexico to a high of 55 for those born in Canada The assimilation index is below the overall average of 28 for immigrants from Mexico El Salvador China and India Immigrants born in Canada Cuba the Dominican Republic Korea the Philippines and Vietnam have assimilationindex values higher than the national average Figures 4 5 and 6 plot the component assimilation indexes for the same ten large countryoforigin M a 3 2 0 0 8 Figure 3 Assimilation by Country of Origin 2006 0 30 40 5 20 Composite Assimilation Index 10 O I x Q g A 26 9 60 0 8 Q b lt2 QQ b9 8 o o v o lt lt 90 Q 4 0 lt2 0 1 Q 9 Q 62 e 8Q ltltgt QQS 2 lt o O groups Figure 4 covering economic assimilation shows that four of these ten groups are economically indistinguishable from natives and two more are close to indistinguishable Immigrants from Mexico are the least economically assimilated of any group with those from El Salvador a close second Individu als born in the Dominican Republic and China also display economic assimilation levels at or below the national average Figure 5 shows a countryoforigin group Canadians that can claim to be culturally indistinguishable from nativeborn Americans Immigrants born in the Philip pines and the Dominican Republic also show relatively high levels of cultural assimilation At the other end of the spectrum immigrants born in China and India show the greatest degree of cultural distinction from the nativeborn It is interesting to note that both these groups show average or aboveaverage levels of eco nomic assimilation a first clue that cultural assimila tion is not a prerequisite for economic assimilation The least economically assimilated large group the Mexicanborn posts cultural assimilation levels nearly identical to those of Vietnamese immigrants who are nearly indistinguishable from the nativeborn along economic lines Figure 6 rounds out the picture by displaying civic as similation levels for the same set of countries of origin Unsurprisingly given illegal immigrants ineligibility for citizenship or military service Mexican and Sal 100 60 80 Economic Assimilation Index 40 20 O I Figure 4 Economic Assimilation by Figure 7 Assimilation by Metro Area Country of Origin 2006 2006 E 50 00 g 3 aa 2 go w 8 3 5 5 E 7 g 4 lt3 lt3 lt3 5 gquot 45 a o g 6 3 S a c C CO c Q a Lg 0317 go 63 Os 0 er V o a 0 2 0 a 0 9 5 90 69 4 0 6qu 0 415 as 59 s E037 E 353 r0 6quot lt 520 g 0 g a 6 if 2 3 0 3 c 60 80 1 00 40 Cultural Assimilation Index 20 0 I vadoran immigrants show the lowest degree of civic assimilation More surprisingly Canadians despite their full economic and cultural integration with the nativeborn population display only a modest degree of civic assimilation Given the common border of Canada and the United States Canadian immigrants may view their stay in this country as temporary and the naturalization process as unnecessary Figure 5 Cultural Assimilation by Country of Origin 2006 The countryof origin groups with the highest de grees of civic assimilation have a common legacy of day 39 9 0 Q 80 0 Loer 8amp6 ff 55 American military intervention at some point in the 0 Of 2 twentreth century Foremost among them are 1m Qolt migrants born 1n Vietnam who are more assrmrlated along civic dimensions than any other large group in 2006 This achievement is particularly noteworthy 80 60 40 Civic Assimilation Index 20 given Vietnamese immigrants unremarkable degree of cultural assimilation as well as their level of economic assimilation which is slightly below that of natives of Canada Cuba Korea and the Philippines Figure 6 Civic Assimilation by Country of Origin 2006 In addition to computing degrees of assimilation of individual countryof origin groups the indeX can evaluate all immigrants residing in a particular metro politan area A complete set of indeX numbers for areas with signi cant immigrant populations can be found in the Appendix Figure 7 shows the indeX values for m 03 69 60 00 060 06 Q Q6066 foe on the ten largest immigrant destrnatrons in 200617 To a Q o st 2 large extent variation across metropolitan areas can 06 be eXplarned by varratron 1n the countryof orrgrn groups most strongly represented in the population Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in the United States quot3 i3 0 Fl 393 L Pe ivi kl OO Figure 8 Assimilation by Years in the US 2006 8 8 i 58 g E s 2 a C O 10 20 40 Years in the United States Composite Economic Cultural Civic Houston with its proximity to Mexico has the lowest assimilation index value in this set of metro areas Los Angeles which has a very large Mexican population along with considerable numbers of Asian immigrants is above Houston but below most other metropolitan areas The polyethnic New York City area which at tracts a number of European immigrants in addition to people from the developing world has the second highest index value among the metropolitan areas shown here Washington DC also claims a relatively high index value Miami with its large concentration of immigrants from Cuba and other Caribbean nations posts an index value slightly higher than the national average Somewhat surprisingly San Diego in spite of its close proximity to the Mexican border registers as the destination with the highest assimilation index among those listed here To this point reported index values have provided a simple snapshot of a dynamic process Assimilation does not occur instantaneously but rather evolves as immigrants learn more about the host society and take steps both formal and informal toward more complete participation in it Chapter 4 which expands the study of the assimilation index backward through time will provide an opportunity to observe this process Figure 8 presents a different type of opportunity by comparing I i av 2008 the 2006 assimilation index values of immigrants who report having arrived in the United States at varying points in time There are several reasons that immigrants who ar rived at varying points in time might exhibit varying degrees of assimilation in 2006 As stated above one reason is that the assimilation process takes time A second reason is selective return migration Immigrants who experience difficulty in their transi tion to the host society and therefore look poorly assimilated when here may be more likely to return to their origin country or move on to a different host country18 The set of immigrants who remain in the United States for an extended period of time will then appear more assimilated even if their rate of assimilation has been quite modest Finally changes in immigration policy or world economic social and political conditions may change the composition of the immigrant population over time Immigrants who arrived prior to 1965 for example faced a differ ent immigration policy from ones confronting more recent arrivals and may differ for that reason The trends in Figure 8 may re ect any of these explana tions Longitudinal analysis in the next chapter will be able to rule out the third explanation but will not distinguish between the rst two Consistent with both the view that immigrants assimi late over time and that immigrants who fare poorly are more likely to depart there are several clear positive trends in Figure 8 In 2006 immigrants who arrived in the United States within the previous year or two are easily distinguished from the nativeiborn primare ily because they are very unlikely to be citizens The composite and civic assimilation indexes for this group are very close to zero By comparison immigrants who arrived ten years earlier in the mid71990s post overall assimilationiindex values of around 20 and civic assimilationiindex values closer to 50 Immigrants who arrived in the mid71980s had by 2006 attained a compositeiindex value of 30 or higher The most as similated immigrants shown here are those who arrived in the miditoilate 1960s This group posts composite index values in the 6W70 range There are interesting contrasts among the component assimilation indexes in Figure 8 Civic assimilation uni surprisingly begins close to zero but increases steadily reaching values near 80 among immigrants who arrived a generation ago Economic assimilation also shows an unmistakable upward trend beginning in the mid770s for recent arrivals and nearing the maximum value of 100 Cultural assimilation shows a comparatively weak trend among more recent immigrants as of 2006 immigrants who arrived in the mid71980s posted as similationiindex values only a few points higher than the most recent arrivals A more recognizable upward trend appears among immigrants arriving prior to the mid71980s Some portion of this trend may be attribute able to the experience of immigrants who arrived as youths in the 1960s or 1970s learned English in the public schools and married here in the United States rather than abroad Chapter 5 will consider this type of rstigeneration immigrant in greater detail While caveats apply to this analysis as it is based on cross sectional rather than truly longitudinal information this evidence points once again to the conclusion that the process of cultural assimilation is not a necessary precursor of either economic or civic assimilation IVE335wng lmr am 351 i iiion it We United 39 t has 10 CHAPTER 3 ASSIMILATION IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT if 30 study assimilation as a process and to deter mine whether that process has changed over time in the United States it is necessary to move beyond a single year s snapshot and examine longii tudinal information on the assimilation of immigrants in the United States Figure 9 begins this study by presenting timeiseries information on the progression of the assimilation indeX over the past quartericentury using data drawn from the Census enumerations of 1980 and 1990 as well as the annual American Come munity Survey conducted since 2000 As shown in Figure 1 the period between 1980 and 2006 experienced tremendous growth in the immigrant population of the United States Driven primarily by increased immigration from Latin America and Asia the number of foreigniborn residents of the United States nearly tripled in this time period Figure 9 shows that this growth has had very little impact on the assimilai tion indeX There has been some degree of decline in the composite indeX and each of its components since 1980 but in most cases the decline is confined to the 1980s Between 1990 and 2006 a period when the immigrant population doubled the composite indeX and each of its components remained effectively un changed If there is any evidence of a trend in recent years it is toward increased assimilation The com posite indeX shows a small uptick just after 2000 the civic assimilation indeX reached its low point in 1990 both cultural and economic assimilation are higher in 2006 than they were just four years earlier19 Thus while it is true that each assimilation indeX is lower than it was in 1980 the lack of any noticeable trend in the past 16 yearsiand in fact the evidence of slight increases in assimilation in spite of continued growth in the immigrant populationiis noteworthy The relative stability of the assimilation indeX since 1990 is even more striking when compared with the trend in the previous great wave of immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century Figure 10 provides some background information on this earlier wave of immigration Between 1870 and 1920 the number of foreigniborn residents of the United States 100 90 80 70 60 50 Ass m Iaion ndex 20 Figure 9 The Assimilation Index 198072006 40 quotquot so 1980 1985 1990 Year Composile foullural 39ClVlC 39 gt 1995 2000 2005 Economic May 2cm Figure 10 Foreign Born Population of the United States by Region of Birth 187071920 16000000 14000000 12000000 10000000 8000000 6000000 ForeignBorn Population 4000000 2000000 0 1 1870 1880 1890 lSE Europe LatinArnerica DCanada UNW Europe 1900 1910 1920 Year DAsia Africa Oceania Figure 11 The Assimilation Index 190072006 60 50 x m E 40 3 3 30 IE 3 20 lt 10 0 1900 1920 1940 1960 1900 2000 Year more than doubled in large part as the result of the arrival of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Eu rope Because the Census did not collect certain critical pieces of informationimost notably whether the im7 migrants in question could speak Englishithe earliest possible date for computing the assimilation index is 1900 Moreover much of the data used to compute the assimilation index between 1980 and 2006 were not collected by the Census Bureau between 1900 and 1930 The following historical analysis is based on a consistently computed alternative version of the assimilation index which considers the exact same set of factors for all the years between 1900 and 2006 Figure 11 shows that between 1900 and 1920 a pe riod when the immigrant population of the United States grew by roughly 40 the assimilation index declined substantially from an initial value Of 55 to 42 After 1920 as more severe restrictions were placed on immigration the index rebounded somewhat to a level surprisingly similar to that observed in 1980 the beginning of the modern era of immigration By this index measure which is based for purposes of comparison on only the information available in early Census enumerations the drop in the assimilation index between 1980 and 1990 was more precipitous than that depicted in Figure 9 The period between 1990 and 2006 continues to be marked by the lack of a net trend in assimilation In this centuryilong perspective two noteworthy as pects of the current assimilation index emerge First the index since 1990 has taken on a value well below the lowest point observed in the previous wave of immigration to the United States which occurred in 1920 Bear in mind that even in 1920 the majority of foreigniborn residents of the United States were nae tives of Northern or Western European nations or of Measm Ing Immigrant Assn nilation in H1 United States 11 Figure 12 The Assimilation of Newly Arrived Immigrants 1900 2006 10 15 20 25 Assimilation Index 5 I O 1 900 1920 1940 Y 1960 1980 2000 r Canada By 1990 these countries of origin represented a much smaller proportion of all immigrants Second the rapid growth of the immigrant population since 1990 has not occasioned a decline in assimilation comparable in scale with that witnessed between 1900 and 1920 when the immigrant population grew at a much slower rate If the duration of immigrants stays in the United States were the only determinant of their degree of assimilation we would eXpect periods of more rapid growth in the immigrant population to be periods of declining assimilationindex values because the proportion of that population that was newly arrived would be relatively large The assimilation index is clearly in uenced by other factors however Federal policy in uences rates of naturalization and induction into the military moreover certain immigrant groups notably those from Englishspeaking nations arrive in the United States with a head start The impact of new immigrant arrivals on the assimilation indeX then can be either diminished or augmented by changes in policy or changes in the composition of the flow of immigrants Figure 12 shows how these factors can help eXplain both the low level of the assimilation indeX observed since 1990 and the stability of the indeX during this time period compared with earlier episodes of rapid growth in the immigrant population It plots the as similationindex value for immigrants who arrived in the United States within the past ve years for Census enumerations in 1900 1910 1920 1980 1990 and 2000 and for the American Community Survey for 2006 The shift in the composition of the immigrant population between 1900 and 1920 away from North ern and Western Europe and toward Southern and Eastern Europe is evident in the rst three points on the chart In 1900 newly arrived immigrants posted an assimilation indeX of over 20 by 1920 this value had fallen by more than twothirds to 7 In more recent years the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants has been consistently low ranging from around 8 in 1980 to just over 2 in 2000 but has not displayed the strong downward trend evident in the rst two decades of the twentieth century There has been in fact an uptick in the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants since 2000 100 Figure 13 Composite Assimilation by Years in the US 80 60 Assimilation Index 40 20 Years in the United States 30 40 Assimilation Index 30 4O 50 20 1 0 Figure 4 The Progress of individual Cohorts 900 1930 1900 1910 Year 1920 1930 Arrived 1895 1900 Arrived 1915 1920 Arrived 1905 1910 A more complete picture of the change in the as similation process that took place between 1900 and 1920 appears in Figure 15 This gure mirrors Figure 8 above plotting the assimilation index for immigrants according to the number of years since their arrival In all years immigrants with more experience of the United States tend to be more assimilated Note however that the assimilation hill representing the year 1920 is at almost every point lower than the hills representing 1910 and 1900 The hill representing 1910 is likewise lower than the 1900 hill for the rst 20 years or so Thus the tendency of newly arrived immigrants to be less assimilated in 1920 than they were in 1900 or 1910 applies at other points in the assimilation process as well Immigrants arriving in 1900 were consider ably less assimilated in 1920 than the immigrants of 1880 were in 1900 Between 1900 and 1920 growth in the immigrant population was accompanied by a slowdown in the assimilation process Figure 15 also includes assimilation hills for 2000 and 2006 data from the 1980 and 1990 Census enumera tions are not suf ciently rich to permit similar plots for those years In contrast to the earlier period when each decade s hill lay below the one immediately preceding it there is a substantial degree of overlap between the 2000 and 2006 hills at virtually all points These two hills are also lower than those of the early twentieth century which explains why contemporary composite assimilation is lower than it was in that earlier period These assimilation hills show that at any given point in time immigrants who have been in the United States for a longer period of time are more assimi lated One might also conclude from these graphs that the assimilation index tends to rise for individual cohorts as they spend more time in the United States There is an alternative explanation however which graphs like Figure 15 and its earlier counterparts can not rule out that immigrants who entered long ago have always been more assimilated than those who arrived recently There are a few clues in Figure 15 that this is not the case The newly arrived immigrants of 2000 for example are the immigrants who in 2006 had arrived six years earlier It is dif cult however to use a graph like Figure 15 to track one cohort s progress Figures 14 through 18 make the job easier Rather than compare the experience of many different cohorts at a single point in time these graphs follow the progress of individual cohorts across multiple points in time Figure 14 presents true longitudinal information on the progress of immigrant cohorts between 1900 and 1950 focusing on three groups those arriving Measuring Immigrant Assirrrilatiori in the United 13 Figure 15 The Progress of Individual Cohorts Composite Assimilation index 0 5101520253035404550 i 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 2001 2005 Figure 16 The Progress of Individual Cohorts Economic Assimilation Index 85 90 95 80 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Figure 17 The Progress of Individual Cohorts Civic Assimilation Index 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Figure 18 The Progress of individual Cohorts Cultural 65 Assimilation Index 60 55 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 between 1895 and 1900 between 1905 and 1910 and between 1915 and 1920 Consistent with Figure 12 each cohort begins at a lower level of assimilation than the one immediately preceding it Moreover the cohorts exhibit differing rates of progress over their rst full decade in the United States The earli estarriving group posts a 20point increase in the assimilation indeX between 1900 and 1910 This gain is followed by much weaker progress in the second decade The second cohort shows a much smaller increase over its rst decade Between 1920 and 1930 assimilation accelerates for all three groups The overall decline in assimilation between 1900 and 1920 re ects both the decline in initial position Vi 2 008 across cohorts and the tepid progress of all cohorts in the period 1910 to 1920 Figure 15 presents a comparable picture for the period 1980 to 200620 Consistent with the information in Figure 12 there is some evidence of a slight decline in the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants over this time period Tracked over time however each cohort appears to show little slowdown in the rate of assimilation each has either posted or appears on track to post an increase of 15 to 18 points over its rst decade followed by gains at the same rate or faster in the second decade The newly arrived immigrants of 1975 80 appear much less assimilated than their counterparts arriving in 1891900 The more rapid progress of the more recent cohort implies that this group as of 2006 appears only slightly less assimilated than the earlier cohort did in 1930 Although the immigrants of the late twentieth century were less assimilated at the time of their arrival than their counterparts in the opening decades of the cen7 tury their subsequent assimilation was more rapid To what can we attribute this difference Figures 16 through 18 help answer this question by tracking the economic civic and cultural assimilation of individual cohorts over time Figure 16 shows that cohorts of modern immigrants have exhibited steady economic assimilation over time posting strong gains in the economic assimilation indeX in the rst decade in the United States and continued progress thereafter As mentioned above some portion of this progress may re ect the eXit of unsuccessful immigrants rather than improvements in the status of remaining imi migrants Note that the rate of progress shown by these cohorts between 7 and 10 points over the rst decade is greater than the difference in assimilation between cohorts as shown in Figure 8 This contrast is eXplained by another pattern visible in Figure 16 the cohorts arriving between 1995 and 2005 eXhibit lower initial levels of economic assimilation than the cohort arriving between 1985 and 1990 Figure 17 shows that civic assimilation has also in creased steadily for recent cohorts of immigrants posting gains in the 207 to 507point range over the rst decade with continued progress thereafter This degree of progress is generally consistent with the acrossicohort comparison in Figure 8 The steady as similation of immigrants arriving after 1975 can thus be traced both to improved economic fortunes among those immigrants who remain in the country and to steady increases in the fraction of immigrants who are naturalized citizens and who have served in the US military Figure 18 presents something of a contrast with the earlier plots but one consistent with the basic across cohort evidence in Figure 8 The immigrants arriving in the late 1970s as well as those arriving in the late 1980s show very little increase in cultural assimilation over their rst full decade in the United States In both cases this decadeilong period of dormancy is followed by signi cant increases in the rate of cultural assimii lation More recent cohorts of immigrants appear to have bypassed the dormant period posting more im7 mediate increases in cultural assimilation The delayed onset of cultural assimilation may re ect a tendency of immigrants to intermarry later in life perhaps when entering into second or higheriorder marriages or the ascendance of younger members of the cohort who were brought to the United States as children Overall then the study of historical data is of great value in understanding the assimilation of immigrants to the United States in the twentyi rst century The assimilation indeX is low overall and has been at a steady low level since 1990 This 167year period is unique however in that it coupled a rapid increase in the immigrant population with virtually no change in the composite assimilation indeX or its components Over the past few years in fact there has been some evidence of an upward trend in assimilation Rapid growth of the immigrant population which would tend to depress the assimilation indeX on its own was offset by stronger upward trends in assimilation for imi migrants remaining in the United States These strong upward trends are most obvious along economic and civic dimensions Cultural assimilation shows less evidence of increasing strongly as immigrants spend more time in this country except among cohorts are riving within the past decade l235UH219 lmr am 351 i iiion in the United 39 t has 15 May 2008 CHAPTER 4 CASE STUDIES MEXICO VIETNAM AND ITALY a y a substantial margin Mexico was the larg 39 est source of immigrants to the United States 2quot in 2006 Between 1980 and 2006 the number of Mexican born residents of the United States more than sextupled to nearly 11 million representing an annual growth rate of over 6 which was more than ve times the growth rate of the US population over the same time period This growth rate accelerated after 1990 A large proportion of these immigrants live and work in the United States illegally Finally as shown in the basic summary in Chapter 3 Mexican immigrants attain the lowest assimilation index value among large immigrant groups both in the composite index and in the component indexes of economic and civic assimilation For these reasons contemporary immigration policy debates center on the problem of immigration from Mexico This chapter narrows the analysis of im migrant assimilation presented in previous chapters to focus on the experiences of Mexican immigrants For purposes of comparison and contrast two other country of origin groups are presented as case studies here Vietnamese immigrants provide an interesting contrast As shown in Chapter 3 this country of origin group shows some evidence of successful assimila tion particularly in the civic dimension If the goal of immigration policy is to encourage newcomers to follow the path toward citizenship the case of Viet namese immigrants may represent a modern ideal The population of immigrants from Vietnam has also grown at rates very close to those that the Mexican born population exhibited between 1980 and 2006 although the growth of the Vietnamese immigrant population was concentrated in the early rather than the late part of the period The second comparison group is Italian immigrants arriving in the United States between 1895 and 1920 Like Mexicans today Italian immigrants formed the largest single country of origin group in the early twentieth century21 Immigration from Italy and other poor nations in Southern and Eastern Europe inspired much of the policy debate that led up to the imposition of national origin quotas in the 1920s The strong contrast between Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants can be seen in Figure 19 which plots in terms of the composite assimilation index the prog ress made by four cohorts those arriving in the late 1970s late 1980s late 1990s and early 2000s Newly arrived immigrants from both countries post very low Figure 19 Progress Among Mexican and Vietnamese Immigrants Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 0 LO Q S E c o 2 393 E g 8 a r lt 9 ax4 v v J ao O 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Mexico Vietnam Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 n Figure 20 Assimilation of ltalian lmmigrants o o X D E a C 2 E E 1 3 0 lt F O 1900 1910 1920 1930 Year Arrived 1896 1900 Arrived 1906 1910 Arrived 1916 1920 and very similar index values in the Census enu merations of 1980 and 1990 These cohorts progress over the subsequent decade is far from uniform The Vietnamese immigrants of the late 1970s attained a composite index value of nearly 40 by 1990 Mexican immigrants of the same time period scarcely reached a value of 10 that same year despite having started at a slightly higher level An even stronger contrast can be seen among the arrivals of the late 1980s By 2000 the Vietnamese immigrants in this cohort had once again neared an index value of 40 while their Mexican counterparts had posted very little improvement Cohorts arriving after 1995 have been more distinct upon arrival with Vietnamese immigrants tending to appear more assimilated at the entry point The pat tern for Vietnamese immigrants of swifter assimilation continues however It bears repeating at this point that the changes in the assimilation index viewed here could in theory re ect either of two mechanisms Vietnamese immigrants may truly experience faster acclimation to American soci ety over time or they may be more likely to exit the country in the event that they assimilate poorly22 How do these two polar cases compare with the ex perience of Italian immigrants of the early twentieth century Figure 20 shows that Italians serve as some thing of an intermediate case Italian immigrants of 1895 1900 and of 1905 10 are very poorly assimilated upon arrival with index values quite similar to those of newly arrived Mexicans and Vietnamese in 1980 and 1990 Their progress in the subsequent decade is faster than that of recent Mexican immigrants but slower than that of recent Vietnamese with index values rising to the upper teens for both cohorts Italian immigrants arriving between 1916 and 1920 a period when the overall ow of immigrants to the United States had slackened considerably show signs of rapid assimilation between 1920 and 1950 though still not as rapid as that exhibited by recent cohorts of Vietnamese immigrants If the long run image of early twentieth century Italian immigrants is that they were successful in assimilating into American society then a comparison of their early assimilation trajectory with the two recent cohorts now under analysis leads to some quick conclusions Vietnamese immigrants taken as a whole are well on track to be considered successful Mexican immigrants by contrast display much more worrisome patterns If these two groups are indeed on different trajecto ries is there any policy solution that might encourage stronger assimilation on the part of Mexicans Put dif ferently if we could change one aspect of Mexican fieasuring Immigrant Assimilation in the United State 17 i3 Figure 21 Mexicans and Vietnamese Economic Assimilation o o F g o 39 w 5 o we 3 E 395 8 D quot lt 2 o E l O C o o o co LIJ quota 0 Lo 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 ear Mexico Vietnam Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Figure 22 Mexicans and Vietnamese Civic Assimilation o E 58 we 5 o E co 399 lt o 2 V 2 0 8 p 39 p of 5000 0 o 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Mexico Vietnam Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Arrived 2001 2005 immigrants so as to make their experience more like that of the Vietnamese what might that change be To think about these hypothetical questions it is use ful to examine the component assimilation indexes for the cohorts studied in Figure 19 Figure 21 begins the process by plotting the economic assimilation of members of the two groups by arrival cohort between 1980 and 2006 Here a strong contrast between groups appears Vietnamese immigrants particularly those in the rst arrival cohort display a much greater degree May 2008 of economic assimilation upon arrival Economic as similation for newly arrived Mexicans in 1980 is around 50 whereas for Vietnamese immigrants it is over 85 Not only do immigrants born in Vietnam begin at a higher economic level they show stronger signs of economic assimilation over time The sole exception to this pattern is among those arriving in the United States between 2001 and 2005 in this group Vietnamese im migrants enjoy a clear starting advantage but appear to regress between 2005 and 2006 whereas there are signs of real progress among Mexican immigrants Figure 23 Mexicans and Vietnamese Cultural Assimilation O D C 2 E o E m 399 lt2 E o a V E O 8 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Mexico Vietnam Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1975 1980 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1986 1990 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 1996 2000 Arrived 2001 2005 Arrived 2001 2005 This intriguing contrast will merit further observation as more data become available in future years Strong contrasts between groups appear once again in Figure 22 which examines trends in the civic as similation index by country of origin and arrival cohort between 1980 and 2006 Immigrants from both na tions start at low levels of assimilation in each cohort Vietnamese immigrants arriving in the late 19705 late 19805 and late 19905 make considerable progress over their rst full decade in the United States Mexi can born immigrants make very little progress This contrast does appear to extend to the cohorts arriving after 2000 Why do Vietnamese immigrants start at a higher eco nomic level and make more rapid progress along both economic and civic dimensions While a complete discussion of the differences could consume an en tire monograph several easy explanations bear brief discussion Vietnam at least in the early part of the time period under study was a Communist country lacking normal diplomatic and trade relations with the United States The set of individuals choosing to ee a Communist nation to settle in a nation with a free market economy likely included a high proportion of entrepreneurs or skilled workers seeking better com pensation The costs of exiting Vietnam and making the trip to the United States were substantial and the costs of returning to Vietnam after settling here would also have been great Vietnamese immigrants had relatively strong incentives to achieve full membership in American society As political refugees many also benefited from favorable naturalization rules For Mexicans the costs of moving to the United States from Mexico are not so substantial While the United States is undoubtedly an attractive location for highly skilled and entrepreneurial Mexican born workers it also offers wages and living standards much higher than lower skilled Mexican workers could expect in their own country Those Mexicans who enter the country illegally stand no chance of progress along the lines of civic assimilation and they surely face consid erable barriers to significant economic advancement Even if provided the opportunity to progress toward citizenship Mexican immigrants incentives to do so may be muted should they intend to return to their home country after a brief stay in the United States Do the contrasts in assimilation between Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants extend to the cultural dimen sion Figure 25 shows that the answer perhaps surpris ingly is no Among cohorts arriving in the late 19705 or late 19805 an immediate upward trend in cultural assimilation appears only for Mexican immigrants A i vieasuririg irrin iigran39t Assimilation in the United States 19 20 M ay possible explanation for this pattern concerns marriage patterns Immigrants who are unmarried upon arrival but marry a foreigniborn spouse sometime over the next ten to 15 years will witness a decline in cultural assimilation unless it is offset by a second factor such as improvement in Englishispeaking skills Mexican immigrants may be less likely to marry a foreign born spouse simply because there exists a substantial population of nativeiborn individuals of Mexican descent A second possible explanation is language Vietnamese is a tonal AustroiAsiatic language the dif ferences between Vietnamese and English are much more profound than the differences between Spanish and English Note that for both cohorts and both groups progress toward cultural assimilation appears after the rst full decade driven possibly by the aging of individuals brought to the United States as children As was found in previous analyses of cultural as similation patterns look very different for immigrants arriving after 1995 For both Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants of this vintage there are signs of immedi7 ate progress toward cultural assimilation Vietnamese immigrants in the 199572000 cohort begin at a lower level but make more rapid progress than Mexicans Vietnamese immigrants in the 2001705 cohort begin at a higher level but make less rapid progress than Mexicans in this cohort Why have the most recent cohorts experienced more immediate gains in cultural assimilation Changes in marriage patterns may explain part of the phenom enon By the late 1990s both groups would have had access to a larger pool of potential spouses in the same ethnic group who were born in the United States At titudes toward intermarriage may have also changed within these groups or among potential spouses for members of these groups This promising sign of more rapid progress in the most recent cohorts of immigrants merits further study What have we learned from this analysis of individual groups The greatest marks of distinction between immigrant groups that have assimilated rapidly and slowly taking these groups as a guide are along the economic and civic dimensions As rst intimated in Chapter 3 cultural assimilation does not appear to be a prerequisite for assimilation along the other two dimensions This pattern implies that policies restrict ing bilingual education or requiring that government business be conducted in English will have little impact on economic or civic assimilation Indeed erecting linguistic barriers to civic participation might actually retard assimilation along noncultural lines Some observers may believe that policies promoting cultural homogenization are desirable What should be clear however is that such policies do not appear to promote civic or economic assimilation CHAPTER 5 THE NEXT GENERATION ssimilation can be thought of as a process whereby foreigniborn individuals come to a resemble the nativeiborn along cultural civic and economic lines Assimilation can also be thought of as an intergenerational process leading the children of immigrants to bear a stronger resemblance to the nativeiborn population than their parents ever did An evaluation of the assimilation process then should consider the progress made by immigrants children as well as by rstigeneration immigrants themselves In principle the same method used to evaluate the assimilation of rstigeneration immigrants could be applied to laterigeneration immigrants The goal would be to measure the dif culty of distinguishing native born citizens with foreigniborn parents from those with nativeiborn parents In practice this goal is dif cult to attain using Census and American Community Survey data since the Census has not collected information on parents birthplace since the 1970 enumeration Previous studies of secondigeneration immigrants have adopted two basic strategies for overcoming this data de ciency The rst is to switch to a different data source the Current Population Survey CPS which has collected information on parental birthplace since the mid71990s23 The second is to analyze Generation 15 the set of individuals born abroad but raised since childhood in the United States This second strategy has the advantage that it can be pursued consistently from 1900 tO 2006 while using the same data source as the preceding analysis of rstigeneration adults This section presents an alternative assimilation index for foreigniborn adolescents and young adults who were brought to the United States as children The subjects here are between the ages of 12 and 24 and arrived in the United States when they were at most ve years old Thus each individual analyzed here received formal education almost exclusively if not exclusively in this country Individuals born abroad to American parents are excluded from the analysis As in the stane dard assimilation index the goal of this analysis is to determine how well a statistical model can distinguish the nativeiborn from the foreigniborn in a sample con structed to contain equal numbers of each The decision to use a different set of factors to compute this alternative index re ects the fact that many factors considered in the study of adults such as earnings and military service are not appropriate for a study of adolescents and young adults In this analysis the following factors enter into the statistical algorithm used to predict nativity Residence in group quarters Group quarters are de ned by the Census Bureau as any institutional dwelling or a dwelling housing a large number usually ten or more of individuals unrelated to the household head The Census distinguishes between those individuals residing in institutions and those residing in college dormitories or mili7 tary housing The primary purpose of including this variable is to discern whether there are dif ferences in incarceration rates between native and foreigniborn adolescents and young adults Groupiquarters information is not available in the American Community Survey covering the years from 2000 to 2005 Ability to speak English School attendance Marital status whether ever married Childbearing whether the individual is a parent Laboriforce participation Residence with own parents The last ve factors school attendance marital status childbearing laboriforce participation and residence with own parents are permitted to in uence the algorithm s computations in ways that vary by age At age 15 for example it is quite exceptional not to be enrolled in school Among 247yeariolds however it is not at all uncommon Similarly the likelihood of being a parent living with one s own parents participating in the labor force and having been married change as an individual ages from 12 to 24 The algorithm will use any differences in the patterns exhibited by nae tive7 and foreigniborn adolescents to help distinguish between them Some calculations of the assimilation index for immii grants offspring add citizenship as a factor others do VI233w IE 19 ll39fll39nif idl ll Iciiion in We United 39Etates 21 Figure 24 The Assimilation of Generation 15 100 N 90 V 00 X l 3 70 z z 00 9 u 50 g 1 m 40 m lt 39 30 20 quot 10 0 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1900 1970 1900 1990 2000 2005 Year Excluding citizenship including citizenship not Rather than divide the distinguishing characteris tics into economic cultural and civic subgroups this analysis will effectively partition the factors into natue ralization which basically mimics civic assimilation and all other denoting a combination of economic and cultural factors It should be noted that citizenship cannot be used as a distinguishing characteristic in 1900 and 1910 because the Census questionnaire did not collect information on the citizenship of individuals under the age of 21 in those years In 2006 the algorithm used to distinguish between adolescents and young adults born in this country or abroad takes advantage of the following patterns in the American Community Survey Adolescents and young adults born abroad but brought to the United States by age ve are 0 Perfectly distinguishable from natives when they are not citizens of the United States Much less likely to speak English Less likely to reside in group quarters More likely to have been married at any particular age 0 Less likely to be enrolled in school when between the ages of 17 and 22 o More likely to be enrolled in school at the ages of 23 or 24 May 003 Less likely to be a parent More likely to live with their own parents between the ages of 18 and 24 0 Less likely to participate in the labor force at ages 16 through 19 and at ages 22 through 24 The distinctions between young immigrants and nae tiveeborn adults are troubling in some respects but not others The higher tendency to drop out of school is a frequently analyzed concern regarding children of immigrants from Mexico and its neighbors The lack of English ability in a group of young immigrants who have spent a minimum of seven years in the United States also warrants concern The lower rates of teen parenthood and higher rates of school enroll ment at ages typically associated with postgraduate education are encouraging but this latter pattern in particular may re ect the experiences of a very dif ferent subgroup of foreigneborn but Americaneraised young adults Perhaps the most important generalization to be made about the differences between native and foreigneborn adolescents and young adults is that they are relatively small This conclusion is readily seen in Figure 24 which tracks the assimilation of Generation 15 using indexes that include and exclude citizenship as a dis tinguishing characteristic for the years 1900 through 2006 For this 1067year time period the assimilation index excluding citizenship is consistently high never falling below a value of 90 Without incorporating information on citizenship it remains dif cult to distinguish individuals raised in the United States but born in different countries When citizenship is used as a distinguishing variable it becomes much easier to differentiate the two groups Assimilation index values including citizenship information range from the mid 40s in the early part of the twentieth century to a low of 18 in 1980 and have trended back upward into the 40s in recent years While the assimilation index shows signs of increasing in recent years both among adult immigrants and their foreign born children the trend is more pronounced in Generation 15 This increase has been driven primarily by increased naturalization rates among individuals born abroad but raised in the United States Chapter 3 presented evidence that immigrants arriving between 1975 and 1990 showed few signs of cultural assimilation over their rst decade or more of residence in the United States followed by clear increases One possible explanation for this pattern offered above is that the Generation 15 group caused the observed increase in cultural assimilation as it aged into the analysis sample of individuals between the ages of 22 and 65 The evidence in Figure 24 supports this explanation Individuals born abroad but raised in the United States have consistently high assimilation index values in all dimensions except citizenship Moreover these individuals will age into the analysis sample of adult immigrants after a lag of one to two decades While assimilation is generally high in Generation 15 important variation exists within this group Just as the analysis in Chapter 4 showed that rst genera tion Mexican immigrants display a rate of assimilation much slower than that of other current or historical groups foreign born children of Mexican immigrants are less assimilated than the foreign born children of immigrants born in other countries25 In 2006 the Gen eration 15 assimilation index excluding the question of citizenship status was 95 for those born in Mexico and 99 for those born in other countries The index including citizenship was 18 for those born in Mexico and 62 for those born in other countries Figure 25 shows that the children of Mexican immigrants have had below average assimilation index values for the entire period since 1980 As is the case in the overall population there is some evidence of modest in creases in assimilation for Generation 15 Mexicans in recent years As low as the Generation 15 indexes are for Mexican born children of immigrants they may be overstated to some extent This is because certain characteristics that are less pronounced in the immigrant population at large are actually dispropor tionately common among young Mexican immigrants Among girls aged 12 19 born in a country other than Figure 25 The ASSImilation of Generation LS MeXICO O 8 O 00 X 1 quotCS 5 5 8 E E 8 lt 9r O N 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Excluding citizenship Including citizenship iVieasui39ing Immigrant Assimilationquot in the Unit911 23 the United States or Mexico but raised in the United States roughly one in 100 lives with one or more of her biological children This rate is lower than that found in the nativeiborn population Because of this pattern the assimilation indeX treats this indicator of teen childbearing as a distinctively nativeiborn char acteristic MeXicaniborn young immigrants however have a much higher rate of teen childbearing nearly one in 20 MeXicaniborn girls aged 12719 lives with one or more of her own children Similarly young immigrants born outside of MeXico are less likely to be incarcerated or otherwise institui tionalized than natives in the same age group Among those aged 12724 the rate in the immigrant population is 10 while in the nativeiborn population it is 14 Thus the assimilation indeX treats institutionalization as a distinctively native characteristic MeXican imi migrants however have an institutionalization rate of 18 These contrasts raise one potential concern with the method of computing the assimilation indeX the indeX looks at average differences between immigrants and natives which can be misleading when some immii grants are doing much better than and others much worse than natives Fortunately this type of concern is uncommon Adjusting the assimilation indeX for Generation 15 MeXican immigrants to account for patterns that look not only different from those of natives but from those of other immigrants produces very little change Because institutionalization and teenage childbearing are relatively uncommon they contribute very little to the overall indeX Taken as a whole immigrants to the United States show consistent evidence of acclimating to American society over time and between generations There is also some evidence to suggest that the assimilation process particularly along cultural dimensions has strengthened over the past few years As seen in this brief analysis immigrants born in Mexico and most immigrants groups born elsewhere prove to be on a separate trajectory CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS The goal of the assimilationiindex project is to summarize quantitatively a wealth of informa 4 tion on the progress of immigrants in America However there is a danger associated with reducing the whole of immigrants experiences to a single number The composite assimilation index for 2006 is low by historical standards but to conclude from this single number that American society has failed to integrate its newest members or that these newest members show little interest in becoming full members of society would be to ignore a great deal of additional information that points in the opposite direction Although the composite assimilation index is low as are the component indexes of economic civic and cultural assimilation they have remained more or less constantiwith perhaps some signs of increasingi since 1990 Over this 167year period the immigrant population of the United States has doubled Historical evidence shows such constancy to be a remarkable fact In earlier periods of rapid immigrationithe be ginning of the twentieth century and the 1980s7the assimilation index declined When the immigrant population contains a larger than usual proportion of recently arrived adults assimilation tends to be low Two factors explain the stability of the index since 1990 First in earlier periods growth in the immigrant population was accompanied by a shift in the compo sition of the immigrant population toward immigrant groups more culturally and economically distinguish able from the nativeiborn population Since 1990 there has been no comparable shift in the composition of the immigrant population natives of Asia and Latin America have dominated all recent immigration Sec ond contemporary immigrants have made consistently more rapid progress after arriving The immigrants of 1905710 gained 10 points on the assimilation index between 1910 and 1920 By contrast the immigrants of 1985790 gained 15 points between 1990 and 2000 and the immigrants of 199572000 posted a 107point gain in just six years The nation s capacity to integrate new immigrants by this measure is as strong now as it ever has been In more than one respect however this progress has been uneven Contemporary immigrants typically make strong economic progress and become naturalized citi7 zens at steady rates Their foreigniborn children are close to indistinguishable from nativeiborn children except in the area of citizenship At the same time progress toward cultural assimilation is often slow The notable exception to this pattern is immigrants arriving after 1995 who appear to make much more rapid cultural progress than their predecessors As the case studies of Chapter 4 make clear immii grants originating in different nations have also had very different experiences Mexican immigrants who nd themselves at the center of current policy debates show evidence of assimilating very slowly in compari7 son with other contemporary immigrant groups as well as groups that found themselves at the crux of past immigration policy debates Mexican immigrants are distinct in their relative lack of economic progress and in their low rates of naturalization and civic assimilai tion These dif culties may re ect the tendency of Mexican immigrants to live and work in this country illegally or the in ux of large numbers of unskilled workers or the decision of many of them to remain in the United States for a relatively short period of time The young children of Mexicaniborn immigrants also appear more distinct not only from the nativeiborn but from the children of other immigrant groups Mexican immigrants are less distinct from the remain der of the foreigniborn population in terms of cultural assimilation A relative lack of cultural progress is shared by many countryiofiorigin groups arriving more than a decade agltFeven groups such as the Vietnamese that have made rapid progress along other dimensions Moreover the shift toward more rapid cultural assimilation seen in the broader immigrant population is also evident in recent cohorts of Mexican immigrants The assimilation index by itself cannot settle immii gration policy debates It does have the potential however to support certain arguments made in those M SU aig lmml gram Aiulhlllixilol l in the United Lital39e debates and undercut others For all its potential to answer questions the evidence in this report raises many questions as well the answers to which will be revealed only by persistent study Will the changes witnessed in the past few yearsimore rapid cultural assimilation increases in naturalization rates for those born abroad but raised in the United Statesipersist Will ongoing immigration policy debates themselves have an impact on immigrants behavior Will impor7 tant economic events of the past yearithe slowdown in the housing and construction markets the continued decline of the dollar against other currenciesireduce the ow of migrants to the United States and alter their activities once here The continued tracking of immigrant progress in the United States will thus have two sets of bene ts as time goes on making further contributions to policy debates that are sure to endure and providing answers to new sets of questions that appear along the way This section begins with an intuitive description of the procedure used to compute the assimilation index and is followed by a more technical discussion of the sta tistical model used to distinguish the nativeiborn from the foreigniborn The process used to generate the assimilation index can be divided into four steps Step 1 Build a Model That Predicts Immigrant Status Imagine having access to a wide array of information on the social and economic characteristics of a group of people but no information on their place of birth On the basis of social and economic information it might be possible for a welliinformed person to guess which individuals in the group were born in the United States and which ones were born abroad Knowing that an individual has dif culty speaking English for example or that he or she works as an unskilled laborer may be suf cient to infer that a person was born abroad The assimilation index is a measure of how easy it is to infer an individual s place of birth whether domestic or abroad on the basis of common social and economic data The more dif cult it is to tell immigrants and nae tives apart the higher the index is Computation of the index begins with data on a representative sample of the American population evenly split between native and foreigniborn individuals who are at least 25 but no more than 65 years of age The data source and exact set of variables used are described below lntuitively the index is computed by guessing which individuals in the data set are nativeiborn and which ones are foreigniborn and seeing what proportion of the guesses are correct The rst step in the process is coming up with a method for making guesses One could imagine many possible rules for guessing whether an individual is an immigrant on the basis of social and economic information in practice the index begins by employing a statistical procedure guaranteed to arrive at the most accurate guesses pos sible The procedure is known as a probit regression This procedure automatically identi es the personal characteristics most strongly associated with immigrant status as well as those with little relevance With this statistical procedure at the heart of the index there is no need to subjectively assign varying weights to particular characteristics such as income or marital status The use of this procedure distinguishes the index from many other popular measures such as indexes used to rank colleges As discussed in Chapter 2 the statistical model uni derlying the assimilation index considers three sets of factors economic cultural and civic The model considering all three sets produces the composite as similation index In addition to the composite index this report analyzes three component assimilation indexes which are derived from statistical models that analyze only one of the three sets of factors Step 2 Use the Model to Make Educated Guesses Once the model is constructed information on actual immigrant statle is temporarily eliminated from the data set Having removed this information the model is then used to make educated guesses or predictions regarding which individuals are in fact foreigniborn The predictions take the form of probabilities A pre dicted value of zero indicates that there is virtually no chance that the individual in question is foreigniborn A predicted value close to 100 indicates that an in dividual is almost certainly foreigniborn26 Complete assimilation is de ned as a scenario in which it is impossible to distinguish immigrants from natives that is when the two groups are on average identical along all the dimensions incorporated into the probit model In such a scenario the model will assign each individual in the sample a 50 chance of being an im7 migrant The educated guess of which individuals are immigrants would be in this case no more accurate than a random coin ip At the other extreme when the model can predict perfectly which individuals are native and foreigniborn immigrants will receive a predicted probability of 100 and natives a predicted probability of zero IVE335wng lmr am 351 iiion in fire United 39 t has 27 28 M ay lndivtdual is a U S Citizen lndivtdual is married to a nativeibom American lndivtdual speaks English lndivtdual is a veteran of the U S military Result Probability that indwidual lS foreignibom Table 1 Probability Calculations Based on the Probit Regression Model Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes 100 94 8 Table 1 presents educated guesses of immigrant status for three hypothetical individualsZ7 While the sets of characteristics of each individual are contrived and the set of characteristics included in Table 1 is far smaller than the set of characteristics incorporated in the probit model the predicted probabilities are authentic and computed using the same formula used to determine the assimilation indeX in 2006 Case 1 concerns an individual who is not a US citizen is not married to a nativeiborn American does not speak English and has not served in the US military The algorithm derived from the probit regression is used to predict this individual s nativity In this case the model is able to predict with 100 certainty that the individual is foreigniborn Residents of the United States who are not citizens are mar ried to foreigners do not speak English and are not veterans of the US military are always foreigniborn The algorithm derived from the probit model makes this guess about every individual with this particular set of characteristics Case 2 is a more ambiguous scenario The individual in question is a US citizen and speaks English However this individual has not served in the military and is not married to a nativeiborn American which might indicate that the individual is married to a foreigniborn spouse or that the individual is not married at all While many foreigniborn naturalized citizens undoubtedly t this description a number of nativeiborn citizens would as well The prediction offered by the model indicates that this scenario is less ambiguous than it might at rst appear Based on comparisons with the nativity of other individuals with similar characteristics the model offers a 94 probability that the individual is foreigniborn In a sample evenly split between nae tive7 and foreigniborn residents nearly 19 of every 20 Englishispeaking citizens with neither veteran service nor a nativeiborn spouse are in fact immigrants The best guess for this particular individual then is that he or she is an immigrant Case 3 concerns a person who is a US citizen mar ried to a nativeiborn American uent in English and with past or present service in the US Armed Forces While there are some foreigniborn citizens who t this description the overwhelming majority of persons in this category are in fact nativeiborn The model thus indicates that the likelihood of such an individual being an immigrant is a relatively remote 8 The best guess in this case is that the individual is nativeiborn Step amp39 Determine the Accuracy of the Guesses Having built a model in Step 1 and having used that model to make educated guesses in Step 2 the neXt step is to determine just how accurate the guesses are For this step the actual information on birthplace is returned to the data set and the actual information is compared with the educated guesses made using the algorithm derived from the probit regression model If the guesses are right 100 of the time the model can perfectly distinguish immigrants from natives which will lead to an assimilation indeX of zero If the guesses are right only half the time that is if the algorithm performed no better than random guessingithen it is impossible to distinguish immigraan from natives and the assimilation indeX will be 100 The composite assimilation indeX will always make more accurate guesses than any of the component indexesistatistically guesses made on the basis of more information are always more accurate Thus the summary measure of accuracy for the composite index will always be superior to the measure of accuracy for the individual components One useful summary measure of the model s accuracy is the average predicted probability among all immr grants in the data set For example suppose that the sample contains 100 foreigniborn individuals each of whom has a predicted probability of 100 In this case the model is perfectly accurate as re ected by the group s average predicted probability of 100 The assimilation index will equal zero As another example suppose that there are 100 foreigniborn individuals in the sample and the model assigned a probability of 80 to half of them and 50 to the other In this case the model was not perfectly accurate and the group s average predicted probability is 65 The model still performed better than random guessing however so the assimilation index will be less than 100 The average predicted probability can be computed for all immigrants or for subsets of the immigrant popula7 tion divided along lines of country of birth region of residence in the United States number of years since immigration or other factors In theory averages can also be computed for individual persons Step 4 Convert the Average Accuracy Measure into an Index The nal step in computing the assimilation index entails rescaling the average predictions so that high values indicate more assimilation and low values less In the hypothetical example in which all foreigniborn individuals are predicted to be immigrants with prob ability 100 the assimilation index takes on a value of zero Immigrants who can be perfectly identi ed as such are de ned as completely unassimilated Conversely a group of immigrants who cannot be distinguished from natives is de ned as completely assimilated The point of no distinction occurs when the probability assigned by the model equals the prob ability obtained through a random coin ip or 50 Data For the years from 2000 to 2006 the composite assimi lation index and its three components are computed using the Census Bureau s American Community Sure vey ACS The index is also computed for 1990 1980 1930 1920 1910 and 1900 using Public Use Microdata Samples of the decennial census The index is com puted by analyzing the characteristics of males and females between the ages of 22 and 6528 An alternative version of the index that analyzes males and females age 12 to 24 is discussed in Chapter 5 A characteristic is incorporated into the predictive model according to the following guidelines it must measure a factor that potentially distinguishes imi migrants from natives it is commonly observed in the ACS and Census data and it has inspired at least some interest in previous studies of immigration or current policy debates This last guideline excludes certain indicators such as the age of children in an immigrant s household While this indicator could distinguish immigrants from natives previous literature has not focused on this factor as an indicator of as similation and no current policy debates hinge on it The division of indicators into economic cultural and civic categories is largely intuitive there are several examples of indicators such as home ownership that could fall into multiple categories As noted in Chapter 1 not all these characteristics are available in Census data from 1900 1910 1920 and 1930 As a consequence the probit model s capacity to predict immigrant status is slightly lower in these earlier years When comparing assimilation in the 198k2006 period with that of the 190k1950 period the set of characteristics available in the later period but not the earlier period are excluded from the predici tive model This exclusion has only a modest impact on the assimilationiindex computations for the most recent years The Predictive Regression Model A probit regression model is based on the following conceptual model PrY1 PrX1B1 XZBZ Xan gt a In this context the variable Y is an indicator set equal to 1 if an individual is an immigrant and 0 otherwise VI233w lug It39nx39nifgiam Aaun39niliiiion in the United 39Etal es 29 30 The variables X1 through Xn are measures included in the predictive mode intermarriage ability to speak English and so forth The error term 8 is presumed to be drawn from a standard normal distribution mean zero standard deviation one The regression coef cients B1 through B are chosen in a manner that leads the model to make the most plausible predictions possible For individuals who are immigrants the goal is to make the sum XIB1 XZBZ Xan as large as possible For individuals who are not immigrants the goal is to make this sum as small as possible Probit models are estimated using the maximum likelihood method Probit regression models are not the only statistical method appropriate for predicting a binary outcome such as whether an individual is an immigrant The simplest technique is to use an ordinary least squares regression model much like what one would use to analyze income or other continuous variables This sort of model often referred to as a linear probability model is inappropriate for this exercise since it relies heavily on predicted probabilities from the model A primary drawback of linear probability models is that they can produce predicted probabilities that are less than zero or greater than 100 A second alternative technique which lacks this unattractive feature is the logit model In practice there is very little difference between assimilation indexes based on probit models and those based on logit models The sum XIB1 XZBZ Xan can be translated into a probability by using the welliknown properties of standard normal distributions if X1B1XZBZXHBH 0 then Pindividual is immigrant 50 if X1B1XZBZXHBH1 then Pindividual is immigrant 84 if X1B1XZBZXHBH71 then Pindividual is immigrant 16 if X1B1XZBZXHBH2 then Pindividual is immigrant 98 and so forth May 20E The probit models are estimated using individualilevel data from the US Census enumerations of 1900 1910 1920 1930 1980 and 1990 as well as the American Community Survey samples of 2000 through 2006 Each data set is made available by the Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample IPUMS project at the University of Minnesota The data sets are intended to be representative of the entire population of the United States regardless of nativity or immigration status It is relatively welliknown that the Census sufi fers from an undercount problem which is thought to be especially severe among minority populations and among illegal immigrants To counteract this problem the IPUMS project makes a series of sampling weights available The sampling weights allow researchers to attach greater importance to individuals in the sample who are likely to share characteristics with individuals who are undercounted These weights are employed when estimating the probit equations and when aggregating the predicted probabilities that they generate Table 2 presents the probit coef cients estimated in the predictive equations for 1910 1980 and 2006 Separate probit models are estimated each year in order to capture the potentially changing predictive power of certain characteristics over time For each year separate coef cients are estimated for males and females in acknowledgment of the fact that female laboriforce participation military service and marriage patterns may differ signi cantly from those of males In each model positive coef cients indicate variables positively associated with immigrant status and vice versa Across years the results are generally quite com parable In each year the impact of noncitizen status cannot be directly estimated because knowledge that an individual is not a citizen automatically implies that the individual is foreigniborn The predicted likelihood of being an immigrant is set equal to 100 for those individuals who are not citizens Marriage to an immigrant spouse is highly indicative of immigrant status with coef cients above 2 in all years The inability to speak English is another strong predictor with coef cients between 15 and 2 Home ownership is less common among immigrants though the association has strengthened over time as the overall homeiowni Predictor variable and receive a predicted probability of 400 the ACS Complete results are available upon request Table 2 Probit Coefficients 1910 coefficient Not a US Citizen Spouse 45 an immigrant 2 49 2 20 2 36 Ovyns reSidence 70 087 70 244 70 278 Number of own children iiVing in same 0 026 70 002ns 0 042 household Does notspeak English 4 77 4 54 4 94 Married spouse absent maiyfemaie 4 490 784 4 420 944 4 544 23 Separated maiyfemaie m 0 5070 354 0 8300 740 Divorced maiyfemaie 0 5670 476 0 3430 242 0 4630 408 Widowed malefemale 0 7750 94 9 0 4940 355 0 5800 562 Never married maiyfemaie 0 84 90 738 0 4440 300 0 6830 523 Occupation score maiyfemaie 0 0240 008 0 0080 002 0 004 ns70 003 Veteran malefemale m 70 55870 475 70 78670 537 Earned income thousands maiyiemaie m 0 0020 004 70 00270 004 Unemployed maiyfemaie m 70 023ns0 006ns 70 39470 237 Out of labor force maiyfemaie 04900 046ns 0 037ns70 045ns 70 56070 34 5 474 years of education m H 0 452 578 years of education m H 0 204 9 years of education We 70 484 70 248 40 years of education We 70 560 70 74 2 44 years of education We 70 744 70 844 42 years of education but no HS diploma m 70 647 70 333 HS graduate or GED m 70 640 70 733 Some college no degree m H 70 789 Associate degree m H 70 694 Bachelor s degree m H 70 584 Master s degree m H 70 54 7 ProfeSSionai degree m H 70 366 Doctorate m H 70 463 Constant term maiyiemaie 74 0470 979 04390 306 0 4350 436 Note all reported coefficients are statistically significant at the 4 level except those marked quot5 Aii nativerborn indiViduais are U S citizens Thus any noan S citizens can be perfectly identified as immigrants HThe 4980 Census used a more exhaustive set of educationairattainment Variables relative to 4990 2000 and 1980 coefficient 2006 coefficient ership rate has increased Immigrants are associated with larger numbers of children in a household in 1910 and 2006 and with marital statuses other than married with spouse present With categorical Variables such as marital status there is always one category omitted from the regression this becomes the baseline category with which all other categories are compared Surprisingly immigrants are associated with higher paying occupations in 1910 and 1980 the association is very weak for males in 2006 and negative for females In 1910 a male physician otherwise identical to a male farm laborer with a predicted immigrant probability of 50 would have a predicted immigrant probability of 93 The declining importance of occupation over am iiion ii the United State Vi333w IE lrnr c 31 32 time is a testament to the changing economic position of immigrants in society While the probit coef cients suggest that immigrants on the whole have descended the economic ladder there is also evidence that their attachment to the labor force has strengthened over time Immigrants were more likely to be out of the labor force in 1910 than in 2006 Among the characteristics not available in the 1910 Census is military service which is negatively associ7 ated with being an immigrant The association between educational attainment and the probability of being an immigrant is both positive and negative When comparing two nearly identical individuals one with an eighth7grade education and the other with a high school diploma the more educated individual is more likely to be native7born When comparing an indi7 vidual with a high school diploma with an otherwise identical individual with a PhD however the less educated individual is more likely to be native7born In other words immigrants are most underrepresented at intermediate levels of education As a nal note observe that when male and female coef cients are allowed to differ from each other the female coef cients are almost always closer to zero Thus in a sense females are consistently more as7 similated than males It is more dif cult to distinguish foreign7 from native7born females than to distinguish foreign7 from native7born males These coef cients can be used to illustrate the computation of predicted probabilities at the indi7 vidual level Suppose that in 2006 we observe a male high school graduate with no military service who works as a cashier earning 16000 per year and who speaks English has never been married has no children is a US citizen and rents a unit in an apartment building What is the likelihood that such an individual is foreign7born First we use the coef cients in Table 2 to compute an indeX number for this individual May 20E 0135 constant term 7 0333 HS graduate 0683 never married 7 000216 coef cient on income in thousandsincome in thousands 000118 coef cient on occupation scoreoccupation score for a cashier 0471 The probability that this individual is an immigrant is equal to the probability of observing a draw from a standard normal distribution that is below 0471 This is equal to 681 In a sample split evenly between immi7 grants and natives about two of every three individuals matching these characteristics are foreign7born Suppose we take another individual identical to the rst except that he is married to and lives with a foreign7born wife All other characteristics remain the same The indeX number becomes 0135 constant term 7 0333 HS graduate 236 spouse is foreign7born 7 000116 coef cient on income in thousandsincome in thousands 7 000218 coef cient on occupation score occupation score for a cashier 2148 The probability of observing a draw from a standard normal distribution below 2148 is 984 In a sample evenly divided between immigrants and natives we eXpect about 49 of every 50 individuals meeting this description to be foreign7born Suppose we observe a similar individual in 1910 rather than 2006 The indeX number calculation uses the 1910 coef cients instead of the 2006 coef cients and omits those variables that are unobserved in the 1910 Census 7 101 constant term 219 spouse is foreign7born 000818 coef cient on occupation scoreoccupation score for a cashier 1558 This index number translates into a 94 probability of being an immigrant The lack of relevant data in 1910 coupled with altered patterns of differences between the native and foreigniborn in that earlier era leads us to be a bit less certain that the individual we have observed is an immigrant From Predictions to Index The probit regression models are used to compute pre dicted probabilities for every individual in the sample Samples generally consist of hundreds of thousands of individual observations Computing the assimilation index for immigrants as a whole or for speci c groups of immigrants begins by nding the average or mean predicted probability for sample individuals who belong to the group in question To compute an index for all immigrants the predicted values of all immigrants in the sample are averaged To compute an index for Mexican immigrants who arrived in the United States within the last ve years for example the predicted values of in dividuals who meet that description are averaged The averages are always weighted using sample weights made available by the lPUMS project The averages are then converted into an index value by placing them on a scale between a the value that would be expected if the model could not distinguish immigrants from natives and Cb the value that would be expected if the model could perfectly distinguish immigrants from natives The conversion uses the following formula Assimilation index 2 X 100 7 mean probability When the mean predicted probability is 100 that is when all immigrants are identi ed as such in the prof bit model with a probability of 100 the assimilation index equals zero A probit model that was completely ineffective in associating personal characteristics with immigrant status would assign all individuals a pre dicted probability of being an immigrant equal to 50 the proportion of immigrants in the sample In such a scenario the index will equal 2 gtlt100 7 50 100 There are occasions when the assimilationiindex formula returns a value greater than 100 This is most likely to occur when considering the economic assimilation of immigrant groups from developed nae tions It occurs when individuals are overrepresented in the educational and occupational categories that are more commonly associated with natives rather than immigrants In this type of scenario the assimilation index is reset to its theoretical maximum of 100 Component Indexes To compute the component indexes probit regresi sions are recomputed restricting the set of predictor variables to those associated with economic civic or cultural assimilation Removing variables from the predictive model always has the impact of making the predictions less accurate This is why the component assimilation indexes are always greater than the cor responding composite index The civic assimilation index which is based on only two variables tends to come closest to the composite index because citizen ship and military service are very strongly associated with nativeiborn status The cultural assimilation index includes a broader array of variables but in many cases these variables are weaker predictors of immii grant status than citizenship and military service Only groups with very low intermarriage rates or low rates of speaking English will have civic assimilation values higher than cultural assimilation values Economic as similation relies on educational attainment occupation score income home ownership and laboriforce par ticipation As is shown above the relationship between these factors and immigrant status is weak in recent data and the association between educational attain ment and immigrant status is complex This explains the tendency of economic assimilation to approach 100 in many cases Caveats The assimilation index and its components rely on publicly released data from the US Census Bureau both to build the probit model and to provide a set of individuals for whom predicted probabilities can be computed While Census data sets provide clear advantages including relatively large samples relevant variables and consistent measurement over a time span exceeding a century there are important limitai M SU aig lmml gram Aauimiliiiion in the United Lital39e tions to the data The Census Bureau intends each data set to be representative of the population of the United States at least when proper statistical weighting techniques are employed but there remain concerns that certain segments of the population are under counted in each Census primarily because they refuse to cooperate with survey enumerators It is reasonable to believe that the undercounted population includes a disproportionate number of immigrants particularly those who fear that their participation in the survey will lead to some form of government reprisal In reality the Census Bureau is statutorily prohibited from share ing information with any other government agency Moreover the Census does not inquire whether survey respondents are legal or illegal residents of the United States However it may be difficult to convince an ili legal immigrant of these protections In part to address undercount concerns the Census Bureau supplies weights with each survey The weights attempt to correct any differences between the sample of individuals who complete the survey and the underlying population by attaching greater emphasis to groups with low response rates and less emphasis to those with high response rates If for eXample noniEnglishispeaking Mexican natives liv ing in Los Angeles were less likely to ll out a survey form the Census Bureau will assign higher weights to those noniEnglishispeaking MeXicans living in Los Angeles who did participate In this analysis Census Bureau weights are employed in the construction of the predictive probit model and the computation of average predicted probabilities for all immigrants and for groups of immigrants If undercounted immigrants are less assimilated than those who appear in Census enumerations and if the Census Bureau s efforts to correct the undercount by supplying sample weights are insufficient the true 34 indeX of assimilation will be lower than the reported indeX It is more difficult to assess the impact of un dercounting on trends in assimilation By some reports the Census Bureau has reduced the magnitude of undercounting over time29 If so the trend in reported assimilation may appear too negative While it is ultii mately difficult to make de nitive judgments regard ing the impact of undercounting on the assimilation indeX the problem is probably not sufficiently large to produce a signi cant effect For eXample the Census Bureau estimated that 5 of the Hispanic population was undercounted in the 1990 Census30 The reported downward trend in undercounting implies that the problem was even less severe in 2000 A second caveat relates to the statistical properties of the assimilation indeX The indeX and its components are estimates based on a sample of the US popula7 tion and as such are subject to sampling error This error will be relatively inconsequential when describe ing the entire population of foreigniborn individuals in the United States but will be more important when describing smaller groups such as the set of immii grants from a relatively small foreign country or from a small metropolitan area Small uctuations over time or small differences between groups should not be regarded as having much signi cance Finally it should be noted that the indeX and its com ponents are based on information that individuals themselves report to the Census Bureau The Census Bureau makes few if any efforts to verify the accuracy of this information Respondents may falsely state for eXample that they are US citizens or eXaggerate their ability to speak English The full eXtent of misreporting in the Census is not clear The indeX and its components are computed under the assumption that all information reported to the Census Bureau is truthful Assimilation Index Values by Birthplace 2006 Birthplace Composite Economic Cultural Civic Afghanistan 36 iOO 48 68 Albania 20 95 43 42 AntiguaiBarbuda 6O iOO 94 70 Argentina 37 iOO 76 40 Armenia 3i iOO 47 60 Australia 33 iOO iOO 27 Austria 74 iOO iOO 59 Azerbaijan 34 iOO 64 S7 Azores S4 90 82 63 Banamas 47 iOO iOO 48 Bangladesn i8 90 38 SO Barbados SS 98 84 67 Belgium 65 lOO lOO 52 Belize S3 96 93 SS BoliVia 33 400 72 42 Bosnia 2i iOO 43 43 BraZil 2i 95 7O 24 Bulgaria i8 98 6O 34 Burma Myanmar 33 iOO S6 S6 Byelorussia 36 iOO S4 6i Cambodia Kampucnea 34 89 SS 6i Cameroon i6 99 74 25 Canada 53 lOO lOO 43 Cape Verde 35 87 68 55 Chile 42 lOO 79 48 Cnina Zi 9O 4O 47 Colombia 35 iOO 68 45 Costa Rica 36 93 86 37 Croatia 42 400 68 64 Cuba 43 lOO 65 S3 Czecn Republic 40 iOO 9O 4i Czecnoslovakia 7S iOO iOO 69 Denmark 44 iOO iOO 37 Dominica 3O 83 65 46 Dominican Republic 34 84 74 48 Ecuador 28 88 63 38 Egypt 39 ioo 57 62 El Salvador i8 7i SS 29 England 63 lOO lOO 52 Eritrea 29 87 65 S3 Etniopia 3O 98 7O 42 Measu rig li nmigiai i i Assn nilai iori in like United States 35 Assimilationrlndcx Values by Birthplace 2006 contintued Birthplace Composite Economic Cultural Civic Fiii 32 98 SO 64 Finland 46 iOO iOO 4i France S3 iOO iOO 46 Germany 87 iOO iOO 69 Ghana 27 9S 76 40 Greece 60 96 79 76 Grenada 46 iOO 76 62 Guatemala i4 63 SS 22 Guyana 44 iOO 6S 66 l laiti 3i 96 6S 48 Honduras iS 7O 6i 22 Hong Kong Si iOO 64 76 Hungary 63 i 00 93 69 lndia i6 96 39 4O lndoneSia Z4 iOO 73 34 lran 49 iOO 66 69 lraq 3S 9S Si 63 lreland 6O iOO iOO S8 lsraelPalestine SS iOO 8O 64 ltaly 67 iOO 93 68 Jamaica 47 iOO 8S S7 Japan 3S iOO 9i 29 Jordan 4S iOO 66 63 Kenya 27 iOO 83 36 Korea 4i iOO 64 SS Kuwait 38 iOO 7S SO Laos 29 93 48 63 Latyia SO iOO 80 S8 Lebanon 46 iOO 63 68 Liberia Z3 98 74 34 Lithuania 33 iOO 7S 42 Macedonia 34 iOO 49 6S MalaySia 3O iOO 7i 4O MeXico i3 66 Si 22 Moldayia Z4 99 4i 46 Morocco 34 93 7i SO Nepal 8 88 S7 i4 Netherlands S8 i 00 i 00 46 New Zealand 29 iOO iOO ZS Nicaragua 3i 94 6S 43 Assimilationrlndex Values by Birthplace 2006 contintued Birthplace Composite Economic Cultural Civic Nigeria 34 Too 68 49 NonVay 50 T00 lOO 40 Other United Kingdom 37 Too lOO 34 Pakistan 28 97 46 56 Panama 80 lOO lOO 76 Peru 35 T00 74 43 Philippines 49 Too 72 65 Poland 36 lOO 60 55 Portugal 44 88 67 63 Romania 39 Too 63 63 Russia 33 lOO 63 54 Scotland 67 lOO lOO 54 Sierra Leone 25 93 7i 39 Singapore 44 Too 82 43 Slovakia 40 Too 8i 49 Somalia T8 70 S3 34 South Africa 44 Too 83 47 Spain 50 T00 lOO 44 Sri Lanka Ceylon 20 Too S3 33 St Lucia 37 93 88 50 St Vincent 45 95 88 53 Sudan 20 93 7O 26 Sweden 48 lOO lOO 38 SWiterland Si lOO lOO 42 Syria 38 90 S6 62 Taiwan 4i lOO 6O 68 Thailand 49 lOO 9i SS Tonga 2i T00 56 35 Trinidad and Tobago 46 Too 84 55 Turkey 39 95 78 46 Uganda 26 Too 69 43 Ukraine 28 T00 Si 53 Uruguay 23 89 6O 29 Uzbekistan 25 96 50 SS Venezuela 28 Too 77 28 Vietnam 44 99 S3 72 Yemen Arab Republic North T7 72 48 42 YugoslaVia 3O 98 S6 52 Note Only birthplace groups With l00 or more representatives in the 2006 American Community Survey sample used to compute the assimilation index are included in this table Measm ii39ig li rir am Assn riilatiori in lire United States Assimilation Index Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 Metropolitan Area Composite Economic Cultural Akron OH 47 T00 84 AibanyiSchenectadyiTroy NY 34 94 68 Aibuquerque NM 28 79 68 ATTentowniBethiehemiEaston PANJ 36 97 69 Amariiio TX T4 8T 69 Anchorage AK ST 99 78 Arm Arbor MT 26 97 73 Atianta GA 22 9O 62 Atiantic City NJ 36 96 78 AugustaiAiken GAASC SO 95 89 Austin TX 22 78 6O Bakersfieid CA T8 70 49 Baitimore MD 36 97 72 Baton Rouge LA 30 87 63 BeaumontiPort ArthurAOrange TX 25 78 6O Beiimgham WA 54 99 88 BergeniPassaic NJ 32 97 58 Birmingham AL T9 78 66 Boise City TD 27 8O 66 Boston MA 30 9T 67 Bouideritongmont CO T7 78 63 Brazoria TX 23 85 SS Bridgeport CT 29 95 62 Brockton MA 43 TOO 7O BrownsyiTieiHarimgeniSan Benito TX 2T 73 S6 BryaniCoTTege Station TX 24 74 73 BuffaioiNiagara Faiis NY 40 TOO 83 ChampaigniUrbanaiRantoui TL T7 87 7T ChariestoniNorth Charieston SC 35 87 9O ChariotteiGastomaiRock HTTT SC T9 82 SS Chicagoitake County TL 27 9O 55 Chico CA 32 8T 73 Cincmnati OHKYTN 33 95 72 Cieyeiand OH 47 TOO 73 Coiorado Springs CO 59 96 TOO Coiumbia SC 43 93 79 Coiumbus OH 2T 9T 62 Corpus Christi TX 45 84 89 DaHaS TX T7 73 52 Danbury CT 29 98 6T DaytoniSprmgtieid OH 52 TOO 84 Civic 46 44 3O 49 22 S7 3T 3T 47 52 27 29 47 39 35 S9 23 36 43 24 38 42 S7 28 3O 48 22 4O 29 43 44 43 57 ST 46 33 46 26 38 S6 Assimilationrlndcx Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 contintued Metropolitan Area Daytona Beach FL Denver CO Des MOTnes TA DetrOTt Mi Dutchess County NY ET Paso TX EugeneeSpringtieid OR Fayetteyiiieespnngdaie AR Fayetteyiiie NC Fort LauderdaTeeHoTTywoodePompano Beach FL Fort MyerseCape CoraT FL Fort Pierce FL FortWayne TN Fort WortneArTington TX Fresno CA Gaineswiie FL GaiyestoneTexas City TX GaryeHarnrnondeEast Cnicago TN Grand Rapids MT Greeiey CO GreensboroWinston Saiernei Tign POTnt NC GreenyiiieespartanburgeAnderson SC HarrisburgeLebanoneCarTisTe PA HarttordeantoieMiddietoneNeW Britain CT Hickoryeiviorgantovvn NC Honoiuiu HT Houston TX Huntsyiiie AL Tndianapoiis TN Jacksonyiiie FL Jersey City NJ KaiarnazooePortage MT Kansas City MOKS KiieeneTempTe TX Knoxyiiie TN Lafayette7West Lafayette TN Lakeiand7Winternayen FL Lancaster PA LansingeEast Lansing MT Laredo TX Composite 4O 24 T6 33 45 3O 32 20 78 36 25 26 36 20 2T 34 33 32 30 T7 T8 30 38 32 T3 48 T9 34 25 42 28 24 24 48 29 T8 24 52 25 22 Economic T 00 84 83 98 92 82 84 69 T 00 T 00 88 94 8S 8T 68 93 9O 93 87 78 72 86 97 T 00 8T 99 8O 90 85 T 00 87 82 9O 89 84 86 97 9T Cultural Civic 77 SO 63 30 S3 25 60 SO 84 SO 60 4T 78 34 6T 26 T00 65 7T 46 6T 32 66 36 68 37 52 33 S3 32 8T 43 69 43 62 48 65 40 S6 3T 56 23 65 37 78 47 65 46 65 T8 79 6T 53 32 S9 S4 73 3O 77 SO 62 42 75 27 S9 32 96 45 77 4O 7O 23 S9 3T 85 S4 62 37 67 27 Measux lrnr mi1tiori in the United States 39 Assimilationrlndcx Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 contintued Metropolitan Area Composite Economic Cultural Civic Las Cruces NM 22 7i 62 3i Las Vegas NV 27 87 66 36 Lawrehceel laverhill MANl l 3i 93 76 42 LeXihgtOheFayette KY i9 84 72 24 Little RockeNorth Little Rock AR 3i 94 62 39 Los AhgeleseLOhg Beach CA 25 8i S6 42 Louiswlle KYlN 33 93 6S 4i Lowell MANl l 37 93 66 Si MadisOh Wl 3O 93 8O 28 McAlleheEdihburgePharreMissiOhTX i8 72 Si 24 MelbourheeTitusVilleeCocoaePalm Bay FL 55 iOO 93 58 Memphis TNARMS 2i 82 S9 35 Merced CA 20 6i 46 32 Miamiel lialeah FL 29 97 S9 43 MiddlesexeSomersetel luhterdOh NJ 28 98 S4 48 Milwaukee Wl 28 85 64 42 MihheapoliseSt Paul MN 32 95 69 44 Modesto CA 22 74 52 37 MO mOUIlPOCeali NJ 43 96 69 S6 Myrtle Beach SC 29 9O 73 24 Naples FL 22 82 65 28 NashVille TN 20 86 63 28 NassaueSuttolk NY 38 iOO 64 55 New Bedtord MA 46 76 72 6i New l laveheMerideh CT 27 92 63 37 New Orleahs LA 34 95 66 48 Newark NJ 30 94 62 43 NewburgheMiddletowm NY 36 94 77 4i NewYorkeNortheasterh NJ 3i 87 64 48 NorfolkeVirgihia BeacheNewport News VA 54 iOO 84 6O Oaklahd CA 3i 93 S8 49 Ocala FL 55 iOO 76 S9 Odessa TX 26 7O 76 36 Oklahoma City OK 24 8O 63 30 Olympia WA 57 iOO 92 63 Omaha NElA 2i 8O 64 3O Orahge Couhty CA 27 85 SS 43 Orlahdo FL 34 iOO 67 44 Pehsacola FL 65 iOO iOO 60 Philadelphia PANJ 34 96 64 47 Assimilationrlndcx Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 contintued Metropolitan Area Phoenix AZ PittsburgneBeaver Vaiiey PA Portiand7Vancouver OR ProwdenceeFaii RiverePavvtucket MART Provonrem UT RaieigneDurnam NC Reading PA Reno NV RicniandeKenneWTckePasco WA RicnmondePetersburg VA RiversideeSan Bernardino CA Rochester NY Rockford TL Sacramento CA Saiem OR SaiinaseSea SideeMonterey CA Sait Lake CityeOgden UT San Antonio TX San Diego CA San Francisco CA San Jose CA San LUTS ObispoeAtascaderoePaso Robies CA Santa BarbaraeSanta Manaetompoc CA Santa Cruz CA Santa Fe NM Santa RosaePetaiuma CA Sarasota FL SeattieeEverett WA Spokane WA SpringtieideHoiyokeeCnicopee MA St LOUTS MOeit Stamford CT Stockton CA Syracuse NY Tacoma WA Taiianassee FL TampaeSt PetersburgeCieanvater FL Trenton NJ Tucson AZ Tuisa OK Composite 20 42 3O 3O 28 20 3T 26 22 28 23 44 22 30 T4 T8 26 3T 32 37 27 39 23 24 T6 29 29 34 49 46 37 33 22 47 SO 34 36 27 3T 27 Economic 78 T 00 88 84 92 82 82 86 66 94 84 99 85 92 66 67 85 82 86 92 93 84 69 72 7O 74 93 96 T 00 98 98 96 85 98 97 93 98 92 9T 84 Cultural Civic 56 26 72 49 65 37 7O 42 7O 28 64 26 6T 39 65 37 63 25 67 35 S4 36 78 52 66 3T 58 43 55 T8 ST 29 64 32 68 37 65 45 67 S6 S3 45 78 44 S4 3T 55 35 65 24 S9 35 63 36 66 46 97 52 82 ST 66 49 64 4T 50 37 79 49 87 S3 76 38 72 44 63 36 78 32 7T 35 Measux lrnr rni1riori in the United States 41 m 42 Assimilationrlndcx Values by Metropolitan Area 2006 contintued Economic 66 96 89 8O 71 61 63 95 91 87 91 96 S7 82 75 79 Cultural 42 73 52 SS 62 43 SS 64 68 6O 74 69 43 S4 44 49 Metropolitan Area Composite Tyler TX 1 1 UtlcaeRome NY 34 ValleloeFalrtleldeNapa CA 28 VehturanXhardeSlml Valley CA 25 V1helahdeMllyllleeBrldgetOWhNJ ZS VisallaeTulareePorteryllle CA 15 Waco TX 14 WashlhgtOh DClVlDVA 30 West Palm BeacheBoca RatcheDelray Beach FL 29 Wichita KS 29 WilmlhgtOh DENJMD 35 Worcester MA 29 Yakima WA 18 Yolo CA 24 Yuba City CA 20 Yuma AZ 18 Note Only metropolitan areas With 100 or more torelghrborh representatives in the 2006 American Community Survey sample used to compute the assimilation index are included in this table Civic 25 42 43 38 34 26 23 41 38 42 37 34 29 37 38 33 M ay 2 003 ENDHQTES 1 Data underlying this graph are taken from various official US Census publications for 1960 1970 1980 and 1990 and from the American Community Survey ACS for 200072005 Immigrant population statistics are interpolated for intercensal years before 2000 2 Joe Costanzo Cynthia Davis Caribert lrazi Daniel Goodkind and Roberto Ramirez quotEvaluating Components of International Migration The Residual Foreign Born Population Division US Bureau of the Census Working Paper Series no 61 2001 3 The term assimilation carries negative connotations in certain circles as it is often taken to imply the elevation of AngloiSaxon Protestant culture as an ideal and the judgment of individual groups by how well they conform to this ideal The concept of assimilation employed in this report is quite distinct from this The nativeiborn population of the United States is now and has always been multicultural Assimilation in this context refers to the degree of distinction between the foreigniborn and nativeiborn citizens regardless of race religion or ancestry Immigrants are assimilated when it becomes impossible to distinguish them from the nativeiborn population This can occur either because immigrants become more like natives in certain respects or because the native population itself changes 4 For a conceptual discussion of assimilation and an overview of the ethnographic literature on immigrant assimilation in the first twoithirds of the twentieth century see Milton Gordon Assimilation in American Life The Role ofRace Religion and National Origins New York Oxford University Press 1964 For more quantitatively oriented studies see Stanley Lieberson A Piece ofthe Pie Blacks and White Immigrants Since 7880 Berkeley University of California Press 1980 covering earlyitwentiethicentury immigrants and Richard D Alba and Victor Nee Remaking the American Mainstream Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration Cambridge Mass Harvard University Press 2003 covering more recent immigrants See also Alejandro Portes and Ruben G Rumbaut Immigrant America A Portrait 3rd ed Berkeley University of California Press 2006 which discusses various forms of assimilation among recent immigrants 5 This figure is based on the simple methodology used in George J Borjas quotThe Economic Benefits from Immigration Journal ofEconomic Perspectives 9 no 2 1995 3722 Immigrants currently form roughly 17 of the labor force assuming that the elasticity of factor price for labor is 703 a value widely supported in economic literature see Daniel Hamermesh Labor Demand Princeton NJ Princeton University Press 1993 immigrants reduce wages by about 5 The economic benefit from immigration is the area of a triangle with height 5 and base 17 121705 0004 times GDP which in 2006 was roughly 13 trillion This is a larger estimate than that reported by Borjas because the share of immigrants in the labor market has increased over time and because nominal GDP has increased over time Note that as Borjas argues this surplus may mark a much larger net transfer of wealth from labor to capital This calculation also presumes that immigrants do not contribute to the nation s capital stock only to the labor supply and that the economy is not marked by increasing returns Both these assumptions are debatable 6 For a discussion of the theoretical impact of immigration on wages see Borjas quotThe Economic Benefits from Immigration Empirical studies of the impact of immigration on wages arrive at varying conclusions For example George J Borjas quotThe Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market QuarterlyJournal ofEconomics 118 no 4 2003 1335774 presents estimates suggesting that a 10 increase in the labor force through immigration depresses wages by roughly 3ia figure also consistent with assumptions in the Borjas quotThe Economic Benefits from Immigration method of computing the benefits from immigration David Card Is the New Immigration Really So Bad7 The Economic Journal 115 2005 3007323 VI233w lug Irrirnifgiam Aauirnilation ll the United States 43 argues that evidence of a negative impact on wages is slight Some of the controversy reflects difficulties in measuring the impact of immigration on wages In general it is impossible to know whatwage levels would prevail in the United States in the absence of immigration Some studies use timeiseries data to study whether growth in the immigrant population is associated with declines in the earnings of natives with similar skill levels Since 1980 for example the immigrant population has grown and the earnings of the lowiskilled have eroded relative to the earnings of the highly skilled One might conclude from this that the former trend caused the latter Other explanations have been proposed for the decline in relative earnings of the lowiskilled however Another method of inferring the impact of immigration on wages is to compare the earnings of workers in local labor markets with higher and lower proportions of immigrant workers These studies tend to show that earnings do not vary much across these types of labor markets This method could be flawed though if immigrants tend to flock to cities with better laborimarket opportunities or if natives depart cities that experience an inflow of immigrants 7 See Gnanaraj Chellaraj Keith E Maskus and Aaditya Mattoo quotThe Contribution of Skilled Immigration and International Graduate Students to US Innovation World Bank Policy Research Working Paper no 3588 2005 8 As summarized in Borjas quotThe Economic Benefits from Immigration the question of net fiscal impact of immigrants depends on assumptions regarding the marginal cost of providing services such as national defense and highways to immigrants Passel and Clark quotHow Much Do Immigrants Really Cost7 A Reappraisal of Huddle s The Cost of Immigrants Washington DC Urban Institute 1994 estimate a net gain Donald Huddle The Net National Costs oflmmigration Washington DC Carrying Capacity Network 1993 estimates a net loss Ronald Lee and Timothy Miller quotImmigration Social Security and Broader Fiscal Impacts American Economic Review 90 no 2 2000 350754 estimate that the overall net impact of marginal increases in immigration is small and reflects a combination of net fiscal contributions to Social Security little impact on the federal budget and a net drain on state and local government 9 See George J Borjas and Lynette Hilton quotImmigration and the Welfare State Immigrant Participation in MeansiTested Entitlement Programs QuarterlyjournalofEconomics 111 no 2 1996 5757604 which shows that immigrant participation in cash or noncash welfare programs was roughly 50 higher than among native households in data from the 1980s and early 1990s George J Borjas quotImmigration and Welfare Magnets JournalofLabor Economics 17 no 4 1999 607737 shows evidence that prior to 1990 immigrants gravitated toward states with higher welfare benefits See also George J Borjas quotWelfare Reform Labor Supply and Health Insurance in the Immigrant Population National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no 9781 2003 for an estimate of the impact of the 1996 welfare reform on the immigrant population 10 See T C Buchmueller A T Lo Sasso I Lurie and S Dolfin quotImmigrants and EmployeriSponsored Health Insurance Health Services Research 42 no 1 2007 2867310 and O Carrasquillo A I Carrasquillo and S Shea quotHealth Insurance Coverage of Immigrants Living in the United States Differences by Citizenship Status and Country of Origin American Journal ofPubic Health 90 no 6 2000 917723 These studies document that noncitizen immigrants who work fullitime are much less likely to receive health insurance from their employer primarily because they are less likely to work for a firm that offers insurance benefits Naturalized immigrants have insurance coverage rates very similar to those of the nativeiborn 11 See for example Kjetil Storesletten quotSustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration Journal ofPoitical Economy 108 no 2 2000 3007323 and Eduardo Porter quotIllegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions New York Times April 5 2005 May rinse 12 There is strong evidence that immigration raises rents at least in the short term See Albert Saiz quotRoom in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot Immigration and Rental Prices Review ofEconomics and Statistics 85 no 3 YEAR 502721 13 Numerous studies document achievement gaps between Hispanic and noniHispanic white students There is at least some evidence from longitudinal studies that schools manage to close this gap over time Charles Clotfelter Helen Ladd and Jacob Vigdor quotThe Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 378 National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no 12207 2006 study the set of students who remain enrolled in North Carolina public schools continuously from third to eighth grade Within this group the Hispanicivvhite achievement gap narrovvs considerably This narrovving is offset however by a relatively wide gap among those students who arrive in North Carolina public schools after their thirdigrade year 14 The relatively high value for the economic assimilation index relative to the civic and cultural indexes discussed later in the report indicates that cultural and civic factors are more powerful predictors of which individuals are immigrants It does not necessarily follow from this however that immigrants are well assimilated along economic dimensions but not along other dimensions The strength of any one component index is limited by the data that are available in the ACS and Census samples Information on trends in the component indexes discussed later in the report is arguably more informative than information on their levels at any one point in time 15 Note that the apparent numerical discrepancy is explained by the fact that the assimilation index is not a simple tally of the proportion of correct guesses As described in the Appendix the index is actually derived from the following formula assimilation index 2100 7 correct When the percent correct is 69 just over tvvoithirds the index is 2100769 231 62 16 The selected groups have the largest number of representatives in the 2006 American Community Survey This measure is correlated with the size of the underlying group population but not perfectly so owing to undercounting 17 These primary metropolitan statistical areas PMSAs have the largest number of foreigniborn representatives in the 2006 American Community Survey This measure is correlated with the size of the underlying immigrant population in each metro area but imperfectly so owing to undercounting 18 For an analysis of the impact of return migration on simple measures of economic assimilation see Darren Lubotsky quotChutes or Ladders A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings Journal ofPoitica Economy 1 1 5 no 5 2007 820767 19 As described in Chapter 2 the civic assimilation index focuses on citizenship and military service These indicators do not necessarily perfectly capture immigrant participation in civil society While the Census and ACS do not collect detailed information on behavioral aspects of civic assimilation the General Social Survey GSS does Specifically the G88 of 1996 and 2002 collected information on voting behavior volunteering for charitable organizations and donating money to charitable organizations These three behaviors were used to form a behavioral index of civic assimilation In both 1996 and 2002 voting and charitable behavior are relatively weak predictors of immigrant status implying that the associated assimilationiindex values are much larger than those computed using ACS or Census data The 1996 behavioral civic assimilation index is 95 and the 2002 index is 97 The upward trend corroborates the pattern shown in the Census and ACSibased civic assimilation index which suggests that civic assimilation increased between 1990 and 2005 VI233w lug Irrirnifgiam Aauirnilation ll the United 39Etates 45 46 A number of caveats are associated with the GSSibased index There are fewer guarantees that the GSS presents a representative sample of immigrants It is primarily conducted via an iniperson interview interviewers are permitted to omit a household from the sample if they cannot find a respondent who speaks English In 1996 136 potential inteniewees were omitted from the sample of potential respondents for this reason Among those eligible to complete the interview 24 in 1996 and 30 in 2002 failed to do so These nonresponse rates are undoubtedly higher than corresponding rates for the decennial Census For these reasons along with the fact that the GSS is conducted only every other year and does not ask a consistent set of civic behaviorirelated questions with each enumeration this report places more emphasis on the Census and ACSibased index of civic assimilation 20 Tracking the 1975780 arrival cohort is complicated slightly by the reporting categories for year of immigration in the 1990 Census In 1990 the cohort being tracked actually consists of only those immigrants who arrived between 1975 and 1979 21 For a further comparative analysis of immigrants from the two eras with a particular focus on the second generation see Joel Perlmann Italians Then Mexicans Now Immigrant Origins and SecondiGeneration Progress 7890 to 2000 CHANGE 0K7 New York Russell Sage Foundation 2005 22 Given the persistence of a Communist regime in Vietnam and the fact that many Vietnamese immigrants were fleeing that regime return migration to Vietnam is unlikelyiespecially compared with the rate of return migration among Mexican immigrants for whom it is quite common and inexpensive Unsuccessful Vietnamese immigrants could however move on to a different host country 23 Using data on secondigeneration immigrants in the CPS to form an assimilation index comparable with the one reported here for Generation 15 yields very similar conclusions secondigeneration immigrants are consistently rated as highly assimilated As the second generation is by definition nativeiborn incorporating information on citizenship for this group has no impact on measured assimilation 24 See for example the discussion in Perlmann Italians Then Mexicans Now 25 The sample size of Generation 15 members born in individual countries other than Mexico is too small to permit meaningful analysis Thus the discussion here will focus on contrasts between Mexico and all other countries of origin 26 In this report probabilities will be expressed in percentile form between 0 and 100 It is also possible to express probabilities as decimals ranging between 0 and 1 27 The predictions listed in Table 1 are actually averages over all individuals with the listed characteristics in the 2005 sample There are 3419 individuals with characteristics matching Case 1 26798 individuals with characteristics matching Case 2 and 29143 individuals with characteristics matching Case 3 The model includes data on 245480 individuals overall 28 The index can also be constructed using a data set that is restricted to males only or females only As discussed in Chapter 8 7 THERE IS NO CHAP 8 females tend to have higher assimilationiindex values than males Beyond this difference the substantive conclusions of this report are not affected if the analysis is restricted by gender 29 See Paul M Ong and Doug Houston quotThe 2000 Census Undercount in Los Angeles County Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Working Paper no 42 University of CaliforniaiLos Angeles 2002 30 See httpwwwcensusgovdmdwwwpdfunderuspdf l viay 20E Cm 5m CM lawman Stephen Goldsmith Away Brian Ch itmm Emeritus Hawam Hmk Vice President m cy reseamh Erin A Getty mm Directar Hum EdWard Glaeser Jay P Greene 66mg L Kel ng Edmund 1 WWW Peter wins Fred Siegel 1 ka xx Chilnnm hn t 9125 rrmdaia it to Warm tramway 3 km crumbly mmmmmmmmmmmmm slums and minim m mum Instding mm mm Mum Mum m mm xammmmwmwm WWWWW pristine reality 0 him dammit mumm alone cannot gamma mic mm mmmmmwwmmmnmmrymwmemmw mmbmmmymmmmmmmmmmwmm ammunmyMnmmmrmmeswmm m mmmmmmuwm m Manhattan Imam is a 501mm mmm organiwlun mule are m to tho Mat mm a M hm EN 12
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