A Temporally-Unbiased Summary Measure of Immigrant Advancement in the U.S.

John Pitkin, Analysis and Forecasting, Inc.
Dowell Myers, University of Southern California

This paper introduces a new method for summarizing the pace of immigrant advancement that enables unbiased comparisons between groups and between decades. Shifts in the duration or age composition of immigrant groups can alter average attainments irrespective of cohort experience. Also observed status attainment can be affected by higher or lower attainments at arrival possessed by different groups. The new method standardizes for all these effects. Increments of cohort advance over a decade in a given status attainment are compiled into expected lifetime attainment. Cumulative lifetime attainments comprise initial attainments following arrival and subsequent advances. The method is applied to Mexican and Asian immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, and computed separately for status attainments in seven domains. Results show that Mexicans accelerated their advancement in most domains in the 1990s compared to the 1980s; in the 1990s rates of advancement for Mexicans and Asians were similar.

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Presented in Session 93: Assimilation and Social Mobility