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Lifecourse Migration of Metropolitan White and Blacks and the Structure of Demographic Change in Large Central Cities

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. 1984. "Lifecourse Migration of Metropolitan White and Blacks and the Structure of Demographic Change in Large Central Cities." American Sociological Review, 49(6): 803-27.

Lifecourse (age-related) migration patterns played an important role in the racially selective suburbanization on metropolitan populations that took place in the immediate postwar decades. During this period, the members of successive white population cohorts chose suburban destinations just prior to the ages of greatest residential stability, and tended to remain in suburban locations for the remainder of the lifecourse. At the same time, members of black population cohorts were effectively barred from selecting suburban destinations at all ages of the lifecourse. Recent changes in family formation patterns and race relations have prompted expectations that lifecourse migrations patterns will change in ways that should bring about a more racially balanced city-suburb redistribution process. This investigation adopts the demographer's cohort-component projection model to examine these expectations for six large SMSA's. White and black lifecourse migration patterns have become more alike in the post-1970 period; yet, significant racial disparitities still exist. Recent lifecourse migration patterns do not imply an eventual metropolitan-wide integration of the races.

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