Migration flow at county level

I would like to compute the migration flow from a county to another starting from 1850.

Is there any way I can do it?


It is possible in various samples from 1940 onward to identify either county migration status in the last year (MIGRATE1) or in the last five years (MIGRATE5); however, it is not possible to identify the county from which they came. In fact, starting in 1950, it is oftentimes not possible to identify a persons’ current county in the public-use data. There are migration variables available that identify previous residence for non-county geographies.

As for Census data prior to 1940, there is not much available on short-term migration flows. You could compare persons’ current county of residence to birthplace, but birthplace is only available at the state level. It is possible to identify county-level migration flows for the year 1880 by utilizing the linked samples. Since the 1870-1880 linked sample has County values for anyone present in both the 1870 and 1880 data, you could identify the ten-year county-to-county migration flow. You could even do the same for the years 1880 and 1900 to calculate the twenty-year migration flow for 1900.

Sorry that I don’t have better news, but I hope this helps.