IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Stability and Change in Individual Determinants of Migration: Evidence from 1985-1990 and 1995 to 2000


  • Charles Tolbert
  • Troy Blanchard
  • Michael Irwin


In this paper, we compare the reliability of migration estimates from two rather different macroeconomic periods in recent U.S. history. One of these periods, 1985-1990 coincides with the culmination of a vast industrial restructuring which saw a significant decline in manufacturing employment. The other period, 1995-2000, encompasses a time of robust economic growth and tight labor markets driven by productivity gains associated with new technologies. Our interest here is in the stability of common individual-level predictors of migration in these rather disparate macroeconomic contexts. Using confidential internal versions of the 1990 and 2000 Census long-form data, we estimate logistic models of the likelihood that individuals will migrate. The geographic detail in the internal Census data permits us to measure migration in ways that are not possible with public-domain Census data on persons. We develop migration definitions that distinguish between local residential mobility likely associated with life course transitions from migration out of the labor market area that may be driven more by employment and other socioeconomic considerations. Using logistic modeling, we find that the same individual attributes predict migration reasonably well during both periods. We also compute some illustrative probabilities of migration that show temporal stability in migration predictors could be lessened by certain changes in population composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Tolbert & Troy Blanchard & Michael Irwin, 2006. "Stability and Change in Individual Determinants of Migration: Evidence from 1985-1990 and 1995 to 2000," Working Papers 06-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:06-27

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William Clark, 1992. "Residential preferences and residential choices in a multiethnic context," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(3), pages 451-466, August.
    2. repec:cai:poeine:pope_405_0567 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Michael White & Peter Mueser, 1988. "Implications of boundary choice for the measurement of residential mobility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(3), pages 443-459, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Migration; United States Census;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:06-27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erica Coates). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.