Cohort Progress toward Homeownership and Household Formation: Immigrant Experiences in Los Angeles and Toronto Compared

Zhou Yu, University of Utah

This paper examines residential assimilation of five young immigrant cohorts in Los Angeles and Toronto over a five year period in the early 2000s. Results show that, while immigrants enjoy significant progress, there are large variations between immigrant cohorts. The Mexicans in LA have struggled. The Chinese as housing “high achievers” have attained homeownership by compressing household formation and experienced only modest progress in household formation. In contrast, the "lower achievers" such as black immigrants have the highest rates of household formation and increased further over the study period. We interpret that country-of-origin groups sharing the same culture and having a similar desire to own homes in both countries, and that variable rates of household formation represent a household strategy to achieve homeownership in the face of different assimilation contexts. The findings strongly support the need to account for household formation in the study of homeownership attainment.

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Presented in Session 166: Immigrants' Families and Households