Reliquum est, silentium
posted by C. Briem at Sunday, March 02, 2014
It just goes to show you the impact that deindustrialization had on Pittsburgh during the 1970's and 1980's. If Pittsburgh deindustrialized in the 1950's and 1960's when Boston did, then it'd more than likely have a higher percentage of foreign-born residents, because it would have started recovering just in time for the first big waves of immigrants to arrive from Asia and Latin America. Instead, Pittsburgh's deindustrialization occurred just as immigration to the United States began to rebound, and this produced a demographic delay of at least 20 years.
Not only is Pittsburgh way behind many other U.S. cities due to the timing of the steel bust, it may never "normalize." That is because net immigration to the U.S. declined during the 2000s, and although it appeared to have been trending back up a bit again in 2010-2012 as the economy recovered, in 2013 it seemed to level back off again. And it appears a lot of that effect is not specific to the U.S., but rather a result of less economic-based international migration in general as birth rates slow and economic gaps decrease in various developing countries.And even if net immigration does increase back to, say, 2001 levels, the composition of that future U.S. immigration is likely to be very different (for example, it is likely to be much more Asian and less Latin).In that sense, it is likely too late for Pittsburgh to ever catch up with cities that participated in the latest immigration wave, although it does seem like it may participate more proportionately in future immigration (particularly from Asia, in fact).
Pittsburgh will likely never have a very large Hispanic population, though it will eventually reach a point where Hispanics don't stick out like sore thumbs.You're right about the future of immigration being more Asian, and I actually think Pittsburgh is reasonably well-positioned to benefit from it. All races of people immigrate to where the jobs are, but Asians do tend to buck the trend a bit and migrate to bastions of higher education, which Pittsburgh is. And the Asian population in Pittsburgh grew fast enough between 2000 and 2010 to pass Cleveland at the metropolitan level, and trailed only Baltimore, Indianapolis and Columbus in its rate of growth among major Northeastern and Midwestern metropolitan areas in that same period of time. Did anybody in 2001 predict that Scott Township and Franklin Park would be over 10% Asian by 2012? I don't think so.
My guess is a lot of the future people with Hispanic heritage in the Pittsburgh area will be native-born domestic migrants (or the descendants of such), many with mixed-ethnicity backgrounds.
En el futuro, todo el mundo será hispana durante quince minutos.
The CVS just gave me a two peso coin instead of a quarter. I'm out ten cents. Somebody call Lou Dobb.
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