Sunday, July 23, 2006

According to the "foot vote," European immigrants say that New England is the best place to live in America: A reader brought up the question of desirable living places, as indicated by migration. While I cannot answer his specific questions (at least for now) I can look at the GSS to see where immigrants to the U.S. from wealthy European countries choose to live. The GSS only allows us to look at 9 regional divisions of the country, so I identified regions which had more European immigrants than would be predicted by total immigration patterns. Below I've listed the 9 divisions and the groups overrepresented there (and those in parentheses are underrepresented):

New England
French Canadians

Middle Atlantic

East North Central

West North Central

South Atlantic

East South Central

West South Central


(French Canadians)

A couple of points: First, it looks like there is a tendency for immigrants from wealthy European countries to go regions where there are concentrations of their co-ethnics. We know that much immigration is family-based. Second, these immigrants are gravitating to whiter regions. New England is the whitest division, and it has 3 overrepresented immigrant groups and no underrepresented ones. East North Central and Mountain regions have 2 pluses and no minuses. The increasingly non-white Pacific region has 3 underrepresented groups. So judging by European immigration, New England is the most desirable place to live in America.

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