Missing years for MIGRATE1


I’m currently using the CPS ASEC to look at the historical interstate migration pattern by various demographic groups. I noticed that there are gaps between the available years: 1963-1971, 1976, 1981-1984, 1986-now. I’m wondering if there’s any reason for those years being missing? The unharmonized variables don’t seem to contain them either.

Thank you very much!

I am inferring from your post that you are referring to the ASEC variable MIGRATE1 (please follow up if that is not the case). The variable is available in ASECs from 1963-1971, 1976, 1981-1984, and 1986-2023. Between 1972-1975, no migration questions were included in the ASEC. However, there are a few options for studying migration in the other years. In 1978-1980, MIGRAT75 is available; in 1980 and 1985, MIGRATE5 is available; and in 1985, MIGSTA5 is available. These variables are not directly comparable to MIGRATE1 as they have different reference periods. This ASEC user note from the Census Bureau states: “The 1-year geographic mobility question was not asked from 1972 to 1975 and from 1977 to 1980. The first half of the decade (1971-1975) asked about migration since 1970 and the second half (1976-1980) since 1975. Therefore, only 1970-1971 and 1975-1976 ask a comparable 1-year question.”

Thank you very much for your explanation! This is helpful