The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990Research in Economic History (2004)
AbstractWe document long-run trends in interstate migration rates, using individual-level data from the U.S. Census for the period 1850–1990. Two measures of migration are calculated. The first considers an individual to have moved if she is residing in a state different from her state of birth. The second considers a family to have moved if it is residing in a state different from the state of birth of one of its young children, allowing us to estimate the timing of moves more precisely. Overall migration propensities have followed a U-shaped trend since 1850, falling until around 1900 and then rising until around 1970. We examine variation in the propensity to make an interstate move by age, sex, race, nativity, region of origin, family structure, and education. Counterfactuals based on probit estimates of the propensity to migrate suggest that the rise in migration of families since 1900 could be explained by increased educational attainment, although education may be serving as a proxy for unmeasured covariates. The decline of interstate migration in the late nineteenth century remains to be explained.
Citation InformationJoshua L. Rosenbloom and William A. Sundstrom. "The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990" Research in Economic History Vol. 22 (2004)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joshua_rosenbloom/32/