American Sociological Association

Do More-Assimilated Latinxs Leave the Barrio and Move to “White” Neighborhoods? Latinxs, Young Adults, and Spatial Assimilation

Studies of Latinx–white residential segregation and of Latinx residential attainment consistently report findings consistent with spatial assimilation. Nevertheless, most studies of this theory use statistical models that cannot account for multiple dimensions of neighborhoods that may influence residential attainment. In this article, we test predictions of the spatial assimilation model using discrete choice analyses, a multidimensional model. We use data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study on the residential attainment of 1,080 Latinx young adults, most of whom have recently left their parents’ homes. After accounting for the multiple dimensions of neighborhoods, we find little evidence that assimilation from income, generation, or barrio background influences young adult residential attainment. The consequences of language assimilation are modest. However, we find that Latinx young adults with a bachelor’s degree live in “whiter” and “less Latinx” neighborhoods than those without a BA net of these multiple dimensions. The findings suggest that increased assimilation among Latinx young adults is unlikely to improve their residential attainment unless it specifically includes greater education.


Pat Rubio Goldsmith and Martin Puga, Jr.