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College Grad, Poverty Blacks Take Different Migration Paths

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. "College Grad, Poverty Blacks Take Different Migration Paths." PSC Research Report No. 94-303. 3 1994.

Blacks are still leaving northern states but the typical destinations have changed since the late 1970s. Instead of going to Texas and the West Coast, they are heading for the Southeast. And, among blacks who make interstate moves, college graduates are choosing different state and metropolitan-area destinations than those with incomes below the poverty level. These findings, the result of analysis of newly released data from the 1990 Census, suggest that black migration patterns are neither monolithic nor distinct from those of whites. Like whites in the past -- middle class, college-educated blacks are responding to economic pushes and pulls of more general U.S. migration patterns. In contrast, those with poverty-level incomes -- in response to deindustrialization, higher housing costs, or competition from immigrants -- more likely to retrace traditional, historic roots to the South.

The data for this study draw from tabulations of the 1990 U.S. Census based on the "residence 5-years ago" question which was used to identify migrants from abroad and net interstate migration (in-migration from other States minus out-migration to other States) over the 1985-90 period. Maps, tables, and figures in the text and Appendix detail the interstate migration patterns for this period.

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