You are here

Leaving Gateway Metropolitan Areas in the United States: Immigrants and the Housing Market

Gary D. Painter and Zhou Yu
Immigration has long shaped the housing and labor markets of “gateway” metropolitan areas in the U.S. (e.g., Borjas, 1999). In the last 15 years, or so, however, the pattern of immigrant flows has changed somewhat, as large numbers of immigrants have been leaving established gateways and even migrating directly to new areas, which have been described as either emerging gateways or secondary gateways. For example, in the latter part of the 1990s, Las Vegas saw the arrival of over 66,000 immigrants, comprising almost 25 percent of the foreign-born population in that metropolitan area; in addition, over 40,000 immigrants moved there from established gateways (primarily Los Angeles). In total, more than half of the growth from migration is from immigrant groups. Las Vegas is by no means unique in this respect. The Atlanta metro area received over 200,000 foreign born residents over the latter half of the decade of the 1990s, increasing the total immigrant population from 4 percent in 1990 to over 10 percent in 2000.