The Effects of Immigration on Urban Communities
Franklin J. James
University of Colorado at Denver, (Deceased)
Jeff A. Romine
University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Mathematics
Peter E. Zwanzig
University of Colorado at Denver,V. C. Administrat
Cityscape, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1998
This article examines the impact of immigrants on large U.S. cities. It is based primarily on a review of existing research. However, a valuable 1996 database is used to develop some new information. The research shows that immigrants have buoyed the populations of a number of major central cities since 1970, and in some cases generated population growth in once declining, distressed cities. However, among big cities, numbers of immigrants are growing most rapidly in places with healthy economies, such as Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Jose.
The evidence shows that immigrants have not reduced the job opportunities of U.S. natives and that immigrants have strengthened a number of sectors of big-city economies, including small business; international import-export; and finance, construction, and manufacturing. Overall fiscal impacts of immigration on States and local governments have been negative, but there is some evidence that fiscal impacts have been positive or neutral in cities experiencing loss of native-born population. The marginal costs of services to immigrants are lower in places with excess capacity in infrastructure and service systems.
JEL Classification: J61, J62Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 10, 1999
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