Migration signatures across the decades: Net migration by age in U.S. counties, 1950-2010.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Migration is the primary population redistribution process in the United States. Selective migration by age, race/ethnic group, and spatial location governs population integration, affects community and economic development, contributes to land use change, and structures service needs. OBJECTIVE: Delineate historical net migration patterns by age, race/ethnic, and rural-urban dimensions for United States counties. METHODS: Net migration rates by age for all US counties are aggregated from 1950-2010, summarized by rural-urban location and compared to explore differential race/ethnic patterns of age-specific net migration over time. RESULTS: We identify distinct age-specific net migration 'signatures' that are consistent over time within county types, but different by rural-urban location and race/ethnic group. There is evidence of moderate population deconcentration and diminished racial segregation between 1990 and 2010. This includes a net outflow of Blacks from large urban core counties to suburban and smaller metropolitan counties, continued Hispanic deconcentration, and a slowdown in White counterurbanization. CONCLUSIONS: This paper contributes to a fuller understanding of the complex patterns of migration that have redistributed the U.S. population over the past six decades. It documents the variability in county age-specific net migration patterns both temporally and spatially, as well as the longitudinal consistency in migration signatures among county types and race/ethnic groups.
  • Authors

  • Johnson, Kenneth
  • Winkler, Richelle L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2015
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Behavioral and Social Science
  • Rural Health
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1065
  • End Page

  • 1080
  • Volume

  • 32