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Study: Mid-size cities attract immigrants

Homeownership highest in metro areas with strong support networks

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A growing number of immigrants are attracted to mid-size cities with lower housing costs, less competition for jobs, and increasing numbers of other immigrants, according to a recent study by the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate. The study, "Immigrants and housing markets in mid-size metropolitan areas," found that a sample of 60 mid-size metropolitan cities saw an average 27 percent increase in new immigrants -- those in the United States for less than 10 years -- from 2000-05. The cities' total population of immigrants during that time rose to 9 percent of the population from 7.4 percent, according to Census data. According to a 2008 study, immigrants and their children will make up 82 percent of the nation's population growth in the next four decades, growing by 117 million. "The anticipated rapid growth of U.S. immigrant populations in the coming decades, coupled with their movement into mid-size metro areas, ...