This study examines and compares how the spatial arrangements of Spanish speakers have changed over time in a traditional immigrant gateway, Chicago, and in an emerging immigrant gateway, Atlanta. Using the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census data, spatial autocorrelation analysis confirms that Spanish-language neighborhoods continue to be in the city and the suburbs of Chicago. Atlanta’s Spanish-language neighborhoods, on the other hand, are mainly located in the suburbs where major growth took place over the decade. However, Spanish-language neighborhoods in both the city and suburbs of Atlanta and Chicago share similar characteristics: higher percentages of residents who are foreign-born and limited English proficient, and households with low levels of income. While the model of spatial assimilation is still relevant to our understanding of residential patterns among contemporary immigrants and their descendants, the interpretation of findings, including those for new destinations such as Atlanta where large-scale immigration occurred after suburbanization, should place less emphasis on the central city/suburb distinction and suburban homogeneity. The growing diversity in language use among residents necessitates the provision of accessible social services and information.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 22, 2009
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