The recent trend of immigrants arriving in mid-size metropolitan areas and their success in the housing markets is the focus of a new study released by the University of Southern California.
Mid-size cities with the highest increases in immigrants from 2000-05 include:
- Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. (6.99 percent increase to 14.3 percent of the total population);
- Stockton, Calif. (6.35 percent increase to 23.6 percent of the total population);
- Springfield-Holyoke-Chicopee, Mass. (2.22 percent increase to 9.6 percent of the population);
- Salem, Ore. (3.66 percent increase to 15 percent of the total population);
- Fayetteville-Springdale, Ark. (3.29 percent increase to 9.2 percent of the total population).
The study results also suggest that, generally:
- Immigrant networks increase the likelihood of becoming a homeowner.
- Mid-size cities offer with lower housing costs, less competition for jobs, and increasing numbers of other immigrants.
- The immigrant effect on homeownership differs by geography and by immigrant group.
- Immigrants are less successful in achieving homeownership and more likely to live in overcrowded conditions than native-born whites of non-Hispanic origin.
The study found that a sample of 60 mid-size metropolitan cities saw an average 27 percent increase in new immigrants from 2000-05. The anticipated rapid growth of U.S. immigrant populations in the coming decades, coupled with their movement into mid-size metro areas, has the potential to transform communities. Our data suggest that immigrants are attracted to homes near active support networks of fellow immigrants and in places with lower rates of immigrant growth resulting in less competition for entry-level jobs," said Gary Painter, co-author of the study and the center's director of research, in a statement.