A Tale of Two Counties: Perceptions and Attitudes toward Immigrants in New Destinations

Kevin O'Neil, Princeton University
Marta Tienda, Princeton University

The geographic dispersal of immigrant settlement in the United States has made immigration and the integration of immigrants an important local issue in a diverse swathe of smaller cities and towns. This paper focuses on the reactions of the native population to the influx of immigrants using a representative survey from a pair of matched counties in North Carolina—one that experienced rapid growth in its immigrant population and one that did not. In particular, we consider how perceptions and attitudes toward immigrants differ depending on whether native populations are exposed to foreign-born populations. Interactions with media consumption and other moderating factors are considered. The comparison between the two counties is also exploited to assess the extent to which specific groups may perceive immigrants as a threat.

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Presented in Session 176: Attitudes toward Immigrants and Future Impacts