Contemporary Trends in Immigration to the United States: Gender, Labor-Market Incorporation, and Implications for Family Formation

Min Zhou

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This article provides an overview of contemporary trends in immigration to the United States and a descriptive analysis of gendered patterns of immigrants’ economic incorporation. Since the 1970s, both legal and illegal female immigration to the United States has increased steadily, suggesting a trend toward more permanent settlement compared with that of the past. Today, more than half of the immigrants to the United States are female. Although these women often migrate for reasons similar to those of men (such as seeking better economic opportunities or escaping persecution and extreme hardships), their experiences with labor-market incorporation and family formation differ from those of men, raising new issues for the understanding of the role of gender in immigrant settlement and adaptation.


Este artículo presenta una visión general de las tendencias contemporáneas de inmigración a los Estados Unidos, y un análisis descriptivo por género de patrones de la incorporación económica de los inmigrantes. A partir de los setenta, la inmigración femenina legal e ilegal a los Estados Unidos ha aumentado ininterrumpidamente, sugiriendo una tendencia hacia un asentamiento más permanente, comparado con el del pasado. Hoy en día, más de la mitad de los inmigrantes a los Estados Unidos son mujeres. Aunque estas mujeres frecuentemente migran por razones similares a aquellas de los hombres (tales como la búsqueda de mejores oportunidades económicas o escapar de persecución o condiciones extremas), sus experiencias de incorporación al mercado de trabajo y formación familiar son diferentes a las de los hombres, generando nuevas preguntas para entender el papel del género en el asentamiento y adaptación de los inmigrantes.

Keywords: international migration; gender; immigrant settlement; labor market; United States

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Fecha de recepción: 9 de mayo de 2003

Fecha de aceptación: 23 de septiembre de 2003

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