Mexicans Less Likely Than Other Latin American Immigrants To Settle In Mixed Neighborhoods, Study Suggests

New study concluded other Latin American immigrants settle into more diverse neighborhoods.


Mexican immigrants tend to be worse off economically and are less likely to move into more ethnically diverse neighborhoods than their counterparts from other Latin American countries, according to a new study.

According to a report from Brown University, Mexicans - making up about 60 percent of the country's Latino population and a clear majority throughout the Southwest - are so numerous that they drown out other Hispanic groups in many studies. 

New arrivals typically continue moving into immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, which, according to the report, ends up "creating isolated communities even as many Mexicans move to other parts of the nation."

That trend wasn't that surprising. But it stood out when compared to other ethnic groups, who are becoming less segregated.

"We thought Hispanic segregation stayed the same because we couldn't see the rest of the picture," said Brown University sociologist John Logan, co-author of the report, according to USA Today. "This seeming stability masks important differences, because every group except Mexicans has become less segregated since 1990."

The Brown University study, entitled "Hispanics in the United States: Not Only Mexicans," also showed that Latino immigrants from smaller countries in Latin America are making gains in terms of population growth at a rapid pace.

In 1990, there were only three Latino groups with over a million members: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans. The 2010 Census shows three more groups -- Dominicans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorans -- all joined the million-member club, while several other Latin American nationals surpassed more than half a million.

Still, growth in population hasn't necessarily turned into widespread economic advancement.

On average, Mexican immigrants make about $20,200 compared with Cubans, Venezuelans and Argentineans, who average around $30,000. Only Hispanics from Central America -- one of the poorest regions of the world -- make about as much as Mexicans.

Some experts attribute this economic disparity to the close proximity of Mexico to its much wealthier northern neighbor. In contrast to Mexicans, according to the Brown study, South American immigrants are less likely to leave as economic émigrés and instead come here to flee from political unrest and violence, or to further their education.

"There are lots of poor people in Argentina," said Jacob Vigdor, a Duke University immigration scholar, according to the Wall Street Journal. "But to get here all the way from the cone of South America, you need to have a certain income level."

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