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?


Is is possible to examine migration patterns by county level or smaller?

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.