Population Research and Policy Review 22: 333–349, 2003.
© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Immigration and native migration in New York City, 1985–1990
Rutgers University, Center for State Health Policy, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Abstract. The 1990 Public Use Micro Sample is used to analyze the relationship between
immigration and outmigration of the native born in New York City. The study population is
limited to native born males who lived in the ﬁve boroughs in 1985. The relationship between
immigration and the probability of various kinds of moves is assessed using logistic regression.
Results suggest that immigration has an insigniﬁcant effect on migratory behavior, with the
exception of inter-borough migration. Unlike prior work, this study examines a single metro
area, and does not limit itself to inter-state migration. These results are consistent with more
recent work (Card 2001; Kritz et al. 2001), which has failed to ﬁnd a positive labor market level
effect of immigration on native migratory behavior. The inter-borough ﬁnding is consistent
with the occurrence of voluntary residential segregation within the city, in which the native
born move away from areas of immigrant concentration but do not leave the labor market, yet
there is no direct evidence that this process occurred.
Keywords: Immigration, Metropolitan, Migration, Native born, New York City
The relationship between immigration and internal migration of prior resid-
ents is poorly understood, yet has important implications for our understand-
ing of the effect of immigration on regional labor and housing markets. In
New York City, for example, recent population growth has been characterized
by an increase in the foreign born population and a decrease in the native born
population. Results from the 2000 Census suggest that between 1990 and
2000 the city’s population grew to over 8 million, an increase largely fueled
by immigration. However it is not clear whether, or how, these population
ﬂows are related (Frey 1995).
Previous studies have focussed on the relationship between immigration
and inter-state migration, or on net migration from metropolitan areas. The
strikingly asymmetrical spatial distribution of immigration increases interest
in examining particular metropolitan areas, such as New York City or Los
Angeles, separately. Yet it is difﬁcult to design an appropriate empirical test
at this level. This study uses the 1990 public use census micro sample and Im-
migration and Naturalization Service (INS) data on immigration to examine