The 1990s witnessed a significant geographic redistribution of immigration away from the traditional immigrant-receiving states, mainly California, and towards other parts of the country, mainly the Southern states that have not historically been immigrant-receiving states. This paper documents the impact of this change in immigrant settlement patterns on the skill endowment of the workforce in Southern states. The empirical analysis indicates that the recent change in immigrant settlement patterns led to the rise of a sizable foreign-born low-skill workforce in the South, particularly outside Florida and Texas. This workforce developed both as a result of increased settlement of many newly arrived low-skill immigrants in those states, and increased internal migration of low-skill immigrants from the non-South to the South.

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date


Discussion Paper Number

DP 2004-01