Migration and Residential Mobility in the United States

Migration and Residential Mobility in the United States

Larry Long
Copyright Date: 1988
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 416
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/9781610443692
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  • Book Info
    Migration and Residential Mobility in the United States
    Book Description:

    Americans have a reputation for moving often and far, for being committed to careers or lifestyles, not place. Now, with curtailed fertility, residential mobility plays an even more important role in the composition of local populations-and by extension, helps shape local and national economic trends, social service requirements, and political constituencies.

    InMigration and Residential Mobility in the United States, Larry Long integrates diverse census and survey data and draws on many academic disciplines to offer a uniquely comprehensive view of internal migration patterns since the 1930s. Long describes an American population that lives up to its reputation for high mobility, but he also reports a surprising recent decline in interstate migration and an unexpected fluctuation in the migration balance toward nonmetropolitan areas. He provides unprecedented insight into reasons for moving and explores return and repeat migration, regional balance, changing migration flows of blacks and whites, and the policy implications of movement by low-income populations.

    How often, how far, and why people move are important considerations in characterizing the lifestyles of individuals and the nature of social institutions. This volume illuminates the extent and direction, as well as the causes and consequences, of population turnover in the United States.

    A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-369-2
    Subjects: Sociology, Population Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vi-viii)
    Charles F. Westoff

    Migration and Residential Mobility in the United Statesis one of an ambitious series of volumes aimed at converting the vast statistical yield of the 1980 census into authoritative analyses of major changes and trends in American life. This series, “The Population of the United States in the 1980s,” represents an important episode in social science research and revives a long tradition of independent census analysis. First in 1930, and then again in 1950 and 1960, teams of social scientists worked with the U.S. Bureau of the Census to investigate significant social, economic, and demographic developments revealed by the decennial...

  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    Larry Long
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. List of Figures
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. 1 RESEARCH AND DATA ON GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY
    (pp. 1-20)

    Analysis of internal or international migration entails dealing with five questions: How much? Who? Where? Why? With what effect? Demographers are probably best at measuring how much migration occurs and who participates, at least in terms of characteristics of persons commonly measured in censuses and surveys. A geographer’s skills help answer where migrants come from, where they go, and the spatial aspects of migration decision making. The last two questions are the most complex, for identifying why people move or stay and the effects of their mobility or stability requires the skills and insights of sociologists, economists, psychologists, and numerous...

  8. 2 NATIONAL RATES OF GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY
    (pp. 21-57)

    This chapter investigates two deceptively simple questions. First, how much geographical mobility, over short distances and long distances, exists in the United States as a whole? Second, how have levels changed over long periods of time as well as in the recent past? Why these questions are deceptively simple will be made clear later.

    Why they are important seems self-evident in that attention to demographic variables most often begins by focusing on levels and rates, whether numbers of births or deaths, changes in birth or death rates, or other measures of volume, quantity, or incidence. The major thrusts of research...

  9. 3 MIGRATION FOR STATES
    (pp. 58-99)

    The previous chapter directed attention at how much migration occurs within the United States, whereas this chapter concentrates on streams and flows that highlight where migrants come from and where they go. More specifically, this chapter identifies major interstate migration streams over the 40 years from the late 1930s to the late 1970s. The reasons for this focus are that only the censuses of 1940, 1960, 1970, and 1980 asked questions on state or country of residence five years earlier, and information from them constitutes the longest series of data on migration streams over specific intervals of time. The 1950...

  10. 4 RETURN AND REPEAT INTERSTATE MIGRATION
    (pp. 100-136)

    A major advance in migration research over the last two decades has been the development of a conceptualization of migration as something much more than a one-time, once-and-for-all event. Partly because of data limitations, prior theory and research often seemed to be based on a dichotomous view of migration, with the population neatly classified as migrantsornonmigrants as if the two were always clearly distinct. Conceptual advances since then have begun with the premise that migration experience is rather widely distributed in the population at large since almost everyone changes residence at some point in life and almost no...

  11. 5 INTERREGIONAL MIGRATION, RACE, AND PUBLIC POLICY
    (pp. 137-188)

    This chapter concentrates on the effects of internal migration, at least some that are currently measurable and operate on a fairly large geographical scale. As applied to geographical areas, the with-what-effect questions associated with migration are often approached through the how much and who questions, for quite obviously migration has greater effects when the volume is great or the degree of selectivity is high. Even if volume and selectivity are only moderate, migration may affect areas of destination if the migrants differ appreciably from the destination population in terms of culture, religion, race, language, or other socioeconomic variables.

    The effects...

  12. 6 METROPOLITAN AND NONMETROPOLITAN MOBILITY
    (pp. 189-226)

    This chapter addresses a number of questions that are usually considered separately in the various research literatures dealing with geographical mobility within and between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan settings. Previous chapters have focused on geographical mobility at the national, regional, and state levels. Regions and states have long served as spatial aggregates for migration research, and even rural-to-urban migration has often been analyzed as an interregional phenomenon. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, several developments gave renewed attention to movements between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan locations, among metropolitan areas, and within metropolitan areas.

    Perhaps the most highly publicized new development...

  13. 7 REASONS FOR MOVING
    (pp. 227-251)

    Almost never do censuses ask movers why they moved, but censuses have been a major source for inferring the motivational bases underlying geographical mobility, especially long-distance movement. In the last two decades the dominant approach to identifying causes of migration has been with econometric models that account for migration to, from, or between areas or simply the net migration of areas. Variability among areas in any of these measures of migration is typically accounted for by models that include sets of variables to measure economic conditions and climatic, environmental, or quality-of-life factors that may strengthen or weaken economic pushes and...

  14. 8 INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS OF GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY
    (pp. 252-282)

    How long people stay in one house or in one location is an important consideration in characterizing the lifestyles of individuals and understanding the degree to which organizations and institutions in different countries adapt to turnover associated with geographical mobility. As noted in Chapter 2, many nineteenth-century commentaries on internal migration were concerned with how nations might differ and how differences might be related to other national traits. The reasons that there has been comparatively little contemporary research on differences among countries in internal spatial mobility are not hard to identify.

    First, few international conventions guide the collection of statistics...

  15. APPENDIX A: SOURCES AND QUALITY OF DATA ON INTERNAL MIGRATION
    (pp. 283-294)
  16. APPENDIX B: LIFETIME MOBILITY AND CROSS-SECTIONAL DATA
    (pp. 295-310)
  17. APPENDIX C: HOW STATES RANK ON VARIOUS MEASURES OF MIGRATION
    (pp. 311-324)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 325-366)
  19. Name Index
    (pp. 367-370)
  20. Subject Index
    (pp. 371-397)