In this article we examine the relationship between immigrants’ welfare use and their social capital, using the 1990 census. We measure community social capital using contact with co-ethnics and coethnics’ economic inactivity, and examine the use of AFDC and SSI in two subpopulations: single-mother families and elderly units. Major findings are that the effects of social capital differ between immigrant single-mother families and elderly units; the effects of social capital differ between the young-at-arrival elderly and the old-at-arrival elderly; and the process of AFDC use is similar for immigrants and for natives, whereas the process of SSI use is more complicated for immigrants than for natives.

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