Latino Students and White Migration from School Districts, 1980-2010

Matthew Hall, Jacob Hibel
Published in
Social Problems 64: 457-475

We use three decades of data from U.S. school districts to assess the association between Latino school-age populations and net migration of non-Latino white residents. Our results indicate that growing Latino student populations are associated with declining net migration among whites. This pattern is particularly strong in non-traditional Latino districts, where the presence of Latinos is historically recent, in districts that are spatially proximate to those with smaller Latino populations, and in districts marked by relatively low internal segregation. These findings apply primarily to whites with the closest ties to public schools: school-age children and “parent-age” adults between the ages of 30 and 49, suggesting that whites’ selective migration is linked to preferences for public schools with smaller Latino student populations.

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