Monday, May 13, 2013

They came to Pittsburgh

WSJ has a piece datelined Saint Louis, but much about Pittsburgh: Rust Belt Reached for Immigrant Tide. (use the Google trick if you are thwarted by the paywall)  Note they are talking about city only stats in places.

Mostly repeating myself, as we have gone into this over and over again.....   but for the record it is likely to be a very different immigrant tide compared to who has ever come to Pittsburgh in the past.  Not too long  our friend the late Clarke Thomas wrote books like this on the immigrants of Pittsburgh.


How much has changed I think still astounds a lot of folks. 30 years ago roughly 70 percent of the foreign born population in the Pittsburgh region came from Europe. That proportion is at most half of that today and trending down. So those dancers there are most likely 2nd or 3rd generation native born Americans. Just in the last decade the majority of the foreign born population in Pittsburgh switched to a plurality at least (soon to be majority?) born in Asia per the trend in the graph below. If I had time I would love to update Clarke's book today.


Anonymous DBR96A said...

It seems to me like there are some positive socioeconomic trends in the city of Pittsburgh that get wiped out by the metropolitan level data. The article features a chart that shows the foreign-born percentage in several cities proper across the "Rust Belt," and Pittsburgh actually does better than most. It has a higher foreign-born percentage than Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit, and a marginally lower percentage than St. Louis.

If other nearby major metropolitan areas have higher foreign-born percentages than the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, then it's because of their suburbs, and in spite of their urban cores. It seems to me like Pittsburgh is the socioeconomic leader of its metropolitan area while Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit are the socioeconomic laggards of theirs.

This data also bolsters my opinion that Pittsburgh is being reborn from the inside out.

Monday, May 13, 2013 6:24:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Just worth keeping in mind that a big chunk of the city-only foreign born metric comes from students. I don't have the number in front of me, but I bet 9 thousand foreign born students are residing in the city. So almost 3 % points of the city's foreign born percentage. Take that out and you get much more similar city and suburban numbers.

Monday, May 13, 2013 7:38:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

But then you'd have to subtract the students in Cincinnati and St. Louis as well, since they both have well-known and esteemed colleges and universities as well. Even Cleveland and Detroit have some foreign college students, though probably to a lesser extent.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Undoubtedly students are contributing significantly to the City's foreign born population, but there is no reason to "take them out" of consideration. Indeed, to the extent these students are associated with a higher overall migration churn between Pittsburgh and foreign countries, that is fantastic (see Jim Russell). To put it bluntly, U.S. cities that are developing greater relationships with the future economic elites in Asian countries like China and India are going to be better positioned to prosper during this century.

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