** FILE ** The face of a Chinese youth is displayed in a mural on the side of a housing project in San Francisco's Chinatown district as an elderly woman peers out her window, also displaying an American flag, June 9, 2006. Chinese-American teens in San Francisco have a complicated relationship with their Chinatown, the biggest of the nation's many Chinatowns. It's a place of comfort and familiarity. But the noise, crowds and smells wafting from open air produce stands can seem old-fashioned to a generation hooked on iPods and YouTube, and chaotic compared to the suburbs where some now live. (AP Photo/Benjamin Sklar)
BENJAMIN SKLAR ** FILE ** The face of a Chinese youth is displayed in a mural on the side of a housing project in San Francisco's Chinatown district as an elderly woman peers out her window, also displaying an American flag, June 9, 2006. Chinese-American teens in San Francisco have a complicated relationship with their Chinatown, the biggest of the nation's many Chinatowns. It's a place of comfort and familiarity. But the noise, crowds and smells wafting from open air produce stands can seem old-fashioned to a generation hooked on iPods and YouTube, and chaotic compared to the suburbs where some now live. (AP Photo/Benjamin Sklar)

A recent CATO conference and other findings led researchers to conclude immigrants make their neighborhoods better and their neighbors wealthier but they are still shunned by natives. CityLab staffer Tanvi Misra expounds on these two points and the data that led to them.

Misra points out that for immigrants the home-ownership rate has begun to inch up, and while it is still lower than that of natives, the gap is becoming close. While more immigrants can increase housing value, they can have the reverse effect after their numbers begin to rise:

What they found was that when the share of immigrant residents rises from 0 to 30 percent, housing values decline by 6 percent. “A negative association between local housing prices and share of immigrants is an unequivocal sign of native preferences for segregation,” Wachter said...housing prices drop not because immigrants cause crime or worsen their neighborhoods in some other way, but because natives perceive that they do.

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