The 'New Great Migration' of Blacks to the U.S. South: Estimating duration of residence in the absence of retrospective information

Jack DeWaard, Katherine J. Curtis, Glenn V. Fuguitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND Prior research on the 'New Great Migration' of Blacks to the U.S. South from other U.S. regions has neglected the issue of how long Black migrants have lived or can be expected to live in the South. This is a critical omission because duration of residence is an important precondition for and an indicator of migrants' integration in receiving areas. Unfortunately, data limitations prevent estimating Black migrants' duration of residence in the South in the usual way, using information from retrospective questions and life histories. OBJECTIVE Taking an unconventional but familiar approach, this study develops the first estimates of Black migrants' expected duration of residence in the South to shed light on the temporal characteristics of the New Great Migration. METHODS Microdata from four U.S. censuses and an adaptation to the accounting procedures in multiregional life tables are used to estimate Black migrants' expected duration of residence in the South between 1965 and 2000 for four birth cohorts (those born in 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950), with uncertainty. We further disaggregate our results by place of birth (South versus non-South). RESULTS Black migrants could expect to live about half of their remaining life between 1965 and 2000 in the South, with variation across cohorts and by place of birth. CONCLUSIONS This study provides a needed point of reference for research on the New Great Migration of Blacks to the South, and shows how analyses of the age and origin-destination structure of migration flows can reveal their implied temporal dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-898
Number of pages14
JournalDemographic Research
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NIH center grant #R24 HD041023 awarded to the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota and center and training grants #R24 HD047873 and #T32 HD07014 awarded to the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association on August 23, 2015, the Minnesota Population Center's Seminar Series on November 17, 2014, and at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America on April 11, 2013. For their helpful comments, the authors thank Matt Hall, Emily Rosenbaum, the Editor of Demographic Research, Carl Schmertmann, and two anonymous reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 DeWaard, Curtis & Fuguitt.

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