Immigrant Integration in Low-Income Urban Neighborhoods

Improving Economic Prospects and Strengthening Connections for Vulnerable Families

By Urban Institute, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

August 14, 2007

Summary

This report concludes that immigrant groups can close economic gaps between them and native-born populations with reliable, trustable access to education, transportation, English language acquisition and citizenship. It is part of a series produced by the Urban Institute based on neighborhood-level surveys of residents living in the Foundation’s Making Connections initiative sites

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

A lack of education could hold immigrants back economically

Studies show that human capital--usually measured by formal schooling--has a great influence on wages, job quality and other measures of economic advancement. 

In 2002-04, foreign-born survey respondents in the Making Connections neighborhoods from Mexico and Central America were less likely to have a high school education compared to U.S.-born white, black, Asian and Hispanic respondents. 

Findings & Stats

Immigrant Employment

Foreign-born respondents living in the Making Connections neighborhoods were somewhat more likely to be employed than those in native-born households, according to survey results. 

Car Woes

According to the survey, Mexican and Central Americans in the Making Connections neighborhoods were less likely to have a driver’s license and access to a reliable car than were other immigrant groups surveyed. They were, however, more likely to have one when compared to U.S.-born black survey respondents. 

Asset Building

About half of both immigrants and native-born respondents had savings accounts in 2002-04, according to survey results. 

Statements & Quotations