Thursday, September 20, 2012
With nearly half of California's children having at least one immigrant parent, successful immigrant integration is not a special interest: how those children and their parents do in our economic and civic life will help to determine the future of the Golden State and its regions. But what is immigrant integration and how do we measure it? Our friends at the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration have analyzed a range of data and geography in the California Immigrant Integration Scorecard which measures immigrant integration and progress across ten California regions: Santa Clara, East Bay, San Diego, Sacramento, Orange, San Francisco, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Fresno. The Scorecard highlights regions that are getting it right - to which others might look for best practices, those that have room to improve, and emphasizes the need for statewide strategies.
The Scorecard also shows that immigrant integration can, in fact, be measured and improved. The researchers used a variety of indicators to capture different aspects of immigrant integration in the areas of economic mobility and civic participation as well as the receiving society’s openness. These indicators are grouped into four categories - Economic Snapshot, Economic Trajectory, Warmth of Welcome and Civic Engagement - bringing together 28 indicators of well-being. But it's not just immigrants' well-being that's at stake; the analysis argues that such integration is in all our interests.