Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Structure and Growth of Ethnic Neighborhoods

Dai, Tianran and Schiff, Nathan (2021): The Structure and Growth of Ethnic Neighborhoods.

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Abstract

We introduce a new statistical definition of an immigrant ethnic neighborhood based on a choice model and using the location distribution of natives as a benchmark. We then examine the characteristics of ethnic neighborhoods in the United States using decadal census tract data from 1970-2010. We find that ethnic neighborhoods are pervasive, often capturing more than 50% of the ethnic population in a city, and differ significantly in housing and demographic characteristics from other locations in the city where a group lives. Most neighborhoods disappear within one or two decades. However, larger neighborhoods persist longer and have a well-defined spatial structure with negative population gradients. Neighborhoods grow primarily through spatial expansion into adjacent locations and lagged measures of the housing stock from previous decades can predict into which specific locations a neighborhood grows.

Maps of ethnic neighborhoods: https://nathanschiff.shinyapps.io/ee_maps_deployed/

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