Migrate1 variable issue

The downloaded 5-year ACS for 2018 thru 2022 has a problem with the “migrate1” variable. The download only reports the 2022 values for the “migatre1” variable, not 2018 through 2021.

MIGRATE1 has not yet been integrated into the 2022 5-year ACS file (the availability tab indicates that it is available in the 2022 1-year ACS, but not all 2022 samples). MIGRATE1 is determined based on Migration Public Use Microdata Areas, or Migration PUMAs (see MIGPUMA1). The boundaries of these Migration PUMAs changed in 2022. As a result, the 2022 5-year ACS includes respondents interviewed using the older vintage (MULTYEAR = 2018-2021) as well those using the newer (MULTYEAR = 2022). IPUMS does not yet provide MIGRATE1 for the 2022 5-year ACS as we are currently in the process of modifying the variable to take into account both versions of Migration PUMAs that span the sample. We plan to offer MIGRATE1 in the 2022 5-year file in the future, but I would not expect it to be available sooner than in the next 4-6 months.

A number of other migration variables are currently available in the 2022 5-year file including MIGPLAC1 (State or country of residence 1 year ago), which will allow you to identify movers between states, non-movers, and those who moved from abroad. Additionally, you might consider using the individual 1-year ACS files (MIGRATE1 is available in all 1-year ACS files) instead of the 5-year file. While the 5-year file allows users to generate estimates to describe the 5-year period as a whole (e.g. the percent of Texas’s population that moved from California from 2018-2022), the 1-year files are the best way to produce estimates for individual years (e.g. how did this value change each year) and can also be aggregated to produce averages over multiple years.