No two cities are alike: differences in demographics, such as ethnic populations, socioeconomic class, and population density can have extensive impacts on the city’s character and how citizens experience the area. This study investigates the effect of the different compositions of Colorado Springs and Denver on how the two Hispanic immigrant communities experience the assimilation and integration process. Hispanic immigrants form the largest ethnic communities in both Colorado Springs and Denver, and the two cities differ in several critical measures. Sample subjects were chosen through contacting personal contacts and Hispanic stores, restaurants, organizations, and businesses in Colorado Springs and Denver. The levels of assimilation and acculturation found in Denver participants were higher than those of Colorado Springs participants, and this study connects these differences with each city’s demographics. The higher levels of integration with Denver’s Hispanic community correlates with a larger population, less residential segregation, a larger Spanish-speaking and Latin-Americanborn community, a less conservative population, and more exposure to other ethnicities. Despite the differences, several similarities were found as well, including language-use, the participant’s well-being, aspirations for one’s self or one’s family, one’s perception of their identity, and the importance of family. This study also investigates the significant role of Hispanic shops and restaurants. The composition, characteristics, and demographics of a city can hold huge consequences for a city’s planning projects, economy, development, and, as this study investigates, a city’s character and community structure.
Includes bibliographical references.