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The Impact of Housing Segregation and Structural Factors on the Socioeconomic Performance of Puerto Ricans in the United States

Author(s): William Vélez | Giovani Burgos

Journal: Centro Journal
ISSN 1538-6279

Volume: 22;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 175;
Date: 2010;
Original page

The massive migration of Puerto Ricans from traditional settlement hubs in the Northeast to emerging gateways like Central Florida raises a number of questions that are explored in this paper. First, which counties have experienced the largest growth in the Puerto Rican population between 2000 and 2006? Second, are Puerto Ricans living in Central Florida doing better in terms of wages and other social characteristics than Puerto Ricans living in other U.S. counties? Third, do county and individual-level variables explain the effect that living in Central Florida has on wages? Data from the 2000 Census and the 2006 American Community Survey show that Central Florida counties have experienced some of the highest growth in the Puerto Rican population, that Puerto Ricans living in Central Florida are not enjoying the highest wages, and that both county level factors and human capital variables explain the Central Florida wage disadvantage. Puerto Ricans receive higher wages in counties with larger Puerto Rican populations, with relatively low levels of concentrated disadvantage, and in counties with an abundance of good jobs in the financial and business sectors. In addition, Puerto Rican workers benefit economically from living in counties with relatively low levels of residential isolation from whites.

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